Disclaimers:  I do not own Inuyasha or any of its characters.

Notes:  My very first Inuyasha fic.  This is a Het fic, with pairings as follows . . . Sesshomaru/Kagome, Inuyasha/Kikyo, and
Miroku/Sango.  This is most definitely an Alternate Universe fic, and I take great liberties in changing their lives to suit my
purposes.  And for the most part, I stick with English terms and spellings for their names . . . I do hope you can get over it.

More notes:  Sango purchases two slaves.  Kagome takes Sesshomaru, Rin, and Jaken home.



Bound



Part Three


Sango watched her cousin leave and then turned back to the slaver and let her eyes flick over the slaves that were paraded
before the buyers.  For a while, none of them caught her attention as being slaves that needed her help.  Most were purchased
by other customers . . . people that she knew would treat them with kindness.  Then the slaver smiled in that sickening way of
his, and Sango somehow KNEW that she would end up buying the slave he was about to show.

The slaver walked to the door that stood at the end of the platform, leading down to the cells inside the building.  “And now, for
all you men in the audience who like a little vixen warming your beds . . . a lovely Kitsune!”

Sango watched as the slaver grabbed a length of chain, dragging a slender, willowy female to the front of the platform.  Her
movements were graceful, though she was chained.  A mane of red hair surrounded her downcast face, hanging down to drape
around her slender waist, and her cream-colored tail was dragging listlessly on the ground.  She was a beauty, that was to be
certain . . . even in rags, she bore a dignified grace.  Once or twice, she looked back at the door, as if watching the men that
were bringing out the next set of slaves for purchase . . . or perhaps it was that she watched the slaves themselves.

“See how graceful she moves.”  The slave trader called.  “Her dances are enough to make one’s blood boil . . . her voice is no
different from the pure tones of a siren.  And her word of subjugation will have her willing as a bed partner.”

Sango took her eyes away from the Kitsune female, wondering what she found so fascinating about the other slaves, only to
bite back a cry as she discovered her reasons.  Being dragged along behind the rest of the slaves was a smaller Kitsune . . . a
mere pup.  There was a gag in his mouth, and even though he was being chained to one of the posts, he whimpered and
reached for the elder female.

‘That bastard would separate a pup from its mother?’  Sango thought in anger.  For the pup was obviously the female’s child . .
. even if one judged by coloring alone.

Without a second thought, Sango approached the platform before bidding could begin and smirked when the slaver gave her a
suffering expression.  As Sango had taken all the money from the shop, she had quite a bit on her.  Plus, she hadn’t been
shopping like Kagome had been.

“I’ll give you five thousand for both mother and child.”  She smiled warmly as the Kitsune female lifted her head in surprise.  
‘Such lovely eyes.’  Sango noted, finding herself drawn into the glimmering depths of those eyes.  The Kitsune’s eyes were a
brilliant shade of green, as if the forest was alive within those orbs . . . so bright that they almost glowed.

“Now here I must draw the line!  The vixen alone is worth seven!”

Sango snorted, rolling her eyes.  She climbed up onto the platform, standing before the larger man without fear.  “Cut the ox
dung!  We both know that even a virgin Kitsune doesn’t go for more than six thousand.  A Kitsune that has a pup goes for
about three thousand at MAX . . . half the price of one that has never been touched.  A pup normally goes for no more than one
thousand . . . so if I pay five thousand for them both, you will be getting more for those Kitsunes than they’re actually worth.”

The slaver sputtered.  “Why you . . . you . . .”

“Unless you’re in the black market, that is.”  Sango said, arching an eyebrow.  “If that’s the case, then I will have to report you
to the authorities.”

The man said nothing in reply.  However, he didn’t look all that happy.

With a smile, Sango held out her hand.  “Five thousand.  That is my only offer.”

With a grimace, the slaver shook her hand.  “Deal.”  He said with a muted voice, then called to the boy who held the chest of
papers again.  The youth scrambled over, giving the slaver the chest, just as he had done before.

Once Sango had all the paperwork in order, she took her two slaves . . . although she was not pleased about the idea of leading
them by leashes.  Kilala ran along beside them . . . the young Kitsune seemed to be fascinated with the little fire cat.  Sango had
removed that gag from the boy’s mouth just as soon as he had been led to her.  It was cruel to treat a child in such a way.

“Was all that true?”  Said a quiet, yet soothingly sweet voice.

Sango turned, looking at the Kitsune female.  She had her head lowered, but Sango knew she had been the one who had
spoken.  “Was what true?”  Sango inquired, smiling gently to the young woman.

The female raised her head, looking Sango in the eye for the briefest of moments.  “What Kitsunes are worth . . . is that true?”

Sango shrugged.  “I have NO idea, but it’s obvious that the slaver doesn’t know either, or else he would have put up a much
better argument.”

The female blinked in surprise, looking at Sango with amazement.

“What are your names?”  Sango asked.

Again, the female looked surprised, as if she had not expected to be asked such a question.  “I . . . I am Talia, Mistress.”  The
Kitsune said, bowing respectfully.  “And this is . . . m-my son, Shippo.”

Sango nodded, smiling.  “I am Sango.  Come on, let’s get you home and settled in.  Perhaps you would like a warm bath and
fresh clothing . . . I’m certain you’re hungry.”  She looked down at Shippo, noticing that he was rubbing his eyes tiredly.  She
clucked her tongue, bending to regard him.  Gently, she pulled him into her arms.  “You look weary, why don’t you rest?”

Shippo looked to his mother, giving her a pleading expression.  Though he did not talk, it did not seem as if they needed words.

Talia nodded.  After a moment of hesitation, she reached up, brushing her fingers lightly through her son’s hair.  “Rest.”  She
whispered.

Nervously, Shippo shifted in Sango’s embrace, turning his little body until he was halfway curled against her.  Laying his head
against her shoulder, he wrapped his arms around her . . . she could feel the way his body trembled.  No doubt, he was fearful
of her . . . she was their master after all, they did not know she meant them no malice.


*****


Sesshomaru kept his gaze lowered as he trailed behind his new mistress.  She seemed nice . . . yet, Sesshomaru was no fool.  
This woman could very well turn out to be the cruelest of his masters once they were behind closed doors.

In his arms, Rin slept soundly, heedless of the fact that she was now owned by this woman.  Rin’s innocence could get her into
trouble, if their mistress turned out to have such a cruel streak as Sesshomaru feared she did.

Beside him, Jaken stumbled along.  However, Sesshomaru paid no mind to the toad demon.  If he could not keep up, that was
his problem.  Sesshomaru felt no need to carry him as well as the human child . . . he bore no care whether he fell or not.  
Although . . . he did not truly know why he cared for Rin as he did . . . but he chose not to think on the matter.

“We’re almost there.”

Sesshomaru blinked.  His new mistress sounded as if she was relieved to get home.  Perhaps she was ashamed to be seen with
her slaves.  ‘Too bad’ the tiny rebellious spark within him grumped.  ‘If she didn’t want slaves, she should not have bought us.’

He surreptitiously looked around at his surroundings as he walked, memorizing his way around just in case his mistress should
need him to leave her to do some chore.  True, he could just follow her scent back to her, but he preferred knowing where he
was going.

They walked along a long stretch of road, the feet of his mistress making clicking noises on the stone of the walkway.  As they
continued, the road led them from the village, twisting its way along until it was no more than a dirt path winding between the
hills of the countryside.  Sesshomaru looked to his left, viewing an expanse of forest . . . a strange scent tickled his nostrils, yet
it was too faint for him to keep a grasp on . . . too fleeting an odor to identify.

To his right, he could see farms.  People, human and demon alike, worked the land, toiling under the warmth of the morning
sun.  This was a simple village, a quiet place.  Sesshomaru found that he liked it.

Off into the distance, beyond the farms, Sesshomaru caught sight of a large house . . . well, it resembled a fortress more than a
house.  Stone walls surrounded it . . . and yet, it gave off the feeling of warmth, of home.  A scent drifted to him from within
those walls, and Sesshomaru knew that a demon lived there . . . not Naraku, but another . . . two others to be more specific.  
There was a familial trait to the scent, telling him that the fortress was home to a mother and son.  He idly wondered if they
were the masters of the estate or merely slaves such as Sesshomaru was.  Of course this really was none of his business and he
truly didn’t care one way or the other.

Sesshomaru turned his gaze back to the road, deciding not to dwell on the welfare of other demons that he did not know.  
Ahead of him, the road split into two.  The road to the left led to a bridge that crossed the river, then continued toward the
forest in the distance.  The path on the right, which Kagome and her slaves walked along, seemed to go deeper into the hills,
following the trail of the river upstream.

“Ah, home at last.”  Kagome sighed after a short while.

Sesshomaru looked up, pleasantly surprised to find that this Kagome woman was financially stable . . . at least judging by the
appearance of her home.  If he was correct in his assumptions, then perhaps he wouldn’t be sold away as many of his previous
masters had been forced to do when funds had been limited.  The home was large, yet modest in a way.  It was not lavishly
decorated, nor were there many people moving about tending to the grounds.  Still, it was well-taken care of, the property clean
and sufficiently maintained.

Kagome paused before entering the grounds, turning to give Sesshomaru a sweet smile.  “This is where we live.”  Kagome said,
gesturing around with a wide sweep of her arm.  “You’re welcome to look around all you want.”  She pointed to the river.  
“That river marks the boundary between my family’s lands and the lands of Lord Koga.  He’s a nice guy . . . a full-blooded wolf
demon, I think . . . he tends to brag a bit, and has a fondness for me, but he’s harmless really.  Come to think of it, I haven’t
seen him lately.  Oh, well . . .”  She shrugged.  “I just wanted to tell you . . . he doesn’t take kindly to trespassers . . . he’s very
territorial.  There’s another bridge up ahead that connect our two lands . . . our families have always gotten along.”

She sighed, placing a smile on her face again.  “The fork in the road we passed a ways back leads to another village . . . my
Grandmother resides there.  If you do look around, avoid the forest for the time being . . . Grandmother tells me there's a wild
demon running loose terrorizing the farmers.”

Sesshomaru nodded.  “Yes, Mistress.”  He replied.  So that had been the fleeting scent he had caught as he passed those
woods.  He wondered why that demon was wild . . . what had happened to him or her.  Then Sesshomaru shook the thought
off . . . it didn’t really matter.

They walked onto the grounds then . . . entering the main building a few moments later.  Mistress Kagome dropped their
leashes, removing her shoes as they passed the threshold.  Sesshomaru didn’t know whether he was expected to follow her, or
remain where he was . . . she had given no instructions on the matter.  He decided to stay, thinking that if she wished him to
follow, she would call him over to her.

“Kikyo!  Sota!  Kaede . . . I’m home!”  Kagome called, looking around.

“KAGOME!  Kagome, Kagome, Kagome!!!”  A little girl practically squealed as she careened from around a corner and barreled
into Kagome.

Sesshomaru watched as his new mistress lifted the child up with a small grunt, and very nearly smiled at the scene himself.  
The appearance of another young woman, a near replica of his mistress, caused that smile to vanish immediately.  Her
expression was so serious and more than a little cool as she flicked her eyes in his direction.  She radiated power . . . her garb
alone testified to the fact that she was a miko, a strong one.  Did that mean that his mistress was one as well?  True, he had
sensed power in Kagome as well, but her dress suggested her to be a merchant, not a priestess, although it was obvious that her
powers had been trained.  He had not given it much thought . . . perhaps he should have.

As the priestess looked upon him, Sesshomaru cast his gaze to the floor.  He dropped to his knees, as did Jaken.  Neither of
them wished any trouble.  And a priestess as powerful as the one before them could kill them with very little effort if she
wanted to.  Sesshomaru would rather not provoke her in any way.

“Kaede . . . you know better than to run around like a little heathen.”  The maiden spoke as she walked forward, her tones
lacking warmth.  “And Kagome . . . what is the meaning of these three?  We have no need of slaves here.”  After a pause,
though, she sighed and shook her head.  “You always did have a soft spot for those less fortunate, didn’t you?  So . . . what do
you suppose we do with them?”

Mistress Kagome flushed a little.  “Well . . . I was thinking that the little girl . . .”  She paused and turned to look at Sesshomaru,
a frown settling on her face when she found him to be kneeling behind her.  She didn’t speak of his position though.  “What’s
her name?”

Sesshomaru swallowed.  “She is called Rin, Mistress.”

Kagome smiled and nodded.  “Rin is the perfect age to be a playmate for Kaede.  Sota is too busy learning how to run this
household, you and I have our tasks that keep us busy . . . Kaede must be terribly lonesome all the time.  Aren’t you, Kaede?”

Kaede nodded solemnly and rested her head on Kagome’s shoulder.  “Yeah . . . very lonely.”  She pouted.

“And the little toad demon . . . well, I was told he was useful in the kitchen.  You know as well as I do that the cook has been
wanting to hire more help for a while now.  He could assist her.”  Kagome smiled again.

“What of the other?”  The maiden asked.  “Do you have a job in mind for him as well?”

Kagome’s smile fell.  “Well . . . actually, no.”  She sighed.  “But I’m sure he can be useful in any number of ways, Kikyo.”  She
spared a glance back.  “I couldn’t separate the little girl from him . . . you didn’t hear the way she screamed when she was
taken from him . . . and to leave either of them with that slave trader . . . it would have been cruel.”

“As I have never been able to dissuade you once you’ve set your mind on something, I suppose I can allow this.”  Kikyo
responded.  “But they are your responsibility, Kagome . . . I will have nothing to do with them.”  With that, she turned and
walked away, her every motion exuding a cold and dominant air about her.

Kagome shook her head at the retreating back of the priestess.  Then she looked down and smiled at the little girl she held in her
arms.  “Kaede . . . would you do me a favor?”  Kagome asked, bending enough to set the child on her feet.

“What?”  Kaede asked, a bright smile on her young face.

“Could you go play by yourself for now?  I want to get these three settled in.  You can play with Rin tomorrow, okay?”  
Kagome swept her fingers through the child’s hair.

“Okay, Kagome!”  Kaede giggled.  Hugging the elder girl enthusiastically, the child then turned and scampered off.

Kagome turned her attention to her slaves.  “Okay, you two . . . get up off the floor.”  She said, her sweet smile gracing her
face once again.  “You can’t be comfortable like that.”

Sesshomaru rose fluidly, paying no attention to Jaken as the other demon stood as well.  He stepped forward and stood before
his mistress, his head bowed as he awaited orders.  In his arms, Rin still slept peacefully.

“That’s better.”  Said Kagome.  “Come on, I’ll take you to the baths so you can get cleaned up, and then I’ll take you to your
rooms.  I’m sure you’re weary . . . and probably hungry . . . I’ll see if I can have some food brought up.”

Sesshomaru felt confused.  Why was this woman being kind to him?  He didn’t understand.  All of his previous masters had put
him to work immediately after having purchased him.  But not Kagome . . . why not?

He and Jaken followed Kagome as she once again led the way.  This time, they roamed through the halls of the estate, heading
to the baths . . . unless Kagome had been lying to him.

Not too much later, Sesshomaru was pleasantly surprised to find that Kagome had indeed led them to the baths.  She spoke with
a servant there and asked her to fetch clothing.  The servant returned hastily with clean clothes for the three slaves, as well as a
set for Kagome.

Kagome reached into a pouch at her side, pulling out a set of keys . . . the keys that the slave trader had given her to unlock the
shackles that bound the wrists of her slaves.  Saying nothing, she unlocked them, handing the chains and leashes to the servant
who had fetched the clothing.  Briefly, Mistress Kagome ran her fingers over one of the cuffs wrapped around Sesshomaru’s
wrists, a questioning look in her eyes.  Yet, she said nothing, merely moving on to unlock Rin’s shackles.

There were two doors before them . . . Kagome gestured to them.  “Father had never liked the idea of making the staff bathe
elsewhere . . . so when he had this home built, he made sure the bath was separated into two rooms . . . one for men, and the
other for women.  We’re right on a hot springs . . . it’s quite lovely, especially on cold winter nights.”  She smiled, stepping
forward to run a soft caress along Rin’s cheek.  “Will you wake her?”

Sesshomaru nodded.  “As you wish, Mistress.”  He spoke with a soft voice.  Turning his attention to the child in his arms, he
gave her a gentle shake.  “Wake, Rin.”

The child moaned lightly, her eyes slow to open.  She yawned widely, snuggling closer to Sesshomaru’s chest.  “Is it morning,
Sesshomaru-sama?”  She asked wearily.

“No, it is not.”  Sesshomaru stated.  “Our Mistress wishes you awake.”

Rin opened her eyes a bit wider, turning to look at Kagome fearfully.  “You won’t hit me, will you?”

Kagome smiled sadly.  “Of course I won’t.  I just thought you’d like to take a bath.”  She said, ghosting her fingers across the
bruise that the slaver had left on the child’s cheek.  “I didn’t want to take you from Sesshomaru without your permission.  But I
won’t have you bathing with a couple of men either.”

“Oh . . . okay.”  Rin said, smiling shyly.  Timidly, she let go of Sesshomaru and reached out to Kagome, allowing the young
woman to take her in her arms.

Kagome smiled, holding the child carefully.  “Okay, bath time.  You two go on now.  I’ll take care of Rin.”

Sesshomaru nodded, taking the clothing that had been provided for him.  He and Jaken walked into the bath Kagome indicated
they should use.  As he stripped himself of his only covering, Sesshomaru felt a brief worry for Rin.  He certainly hoped that
Mistress Kagome was as kind as she appeared to be.


*****


Kagome couldn’t help but smile as she ran a brush through Rin’s ebony hair.  She and the little girl were both thoroughly clean
and wearing fresh sets of clothing.  Rin was humming happily, sitting there as Kagome saw to it that her hair was properly
tended to.  Honestly, the long tresses were a thick mess of knots . . . at least they had been when Kagome had begun brushing.  
Now, it was neat and shiny . . . quite beautiful.

“Okay, that should do it.”  Kagome said, setting the hairbrush aside.  “Are you looking forward to meeting my younger sister?  
If you don’t want to play with her, I’ll understand.”

Rin turned, her expression one of pure happiness. “I wanna play with her!”  She giggled.  “I never played with anyone before . .
. I was never allowed to.”

“Great, Kaede will be so happy.”  Kagome replied, rising to her feet.  “It’s been so long since she’s had a playmate.”  She helped
the child up, pleased that Rin was so excited about the prospect of playing with Kaede.  “Come on, let’s go see if the others are
ready.”

Rin nodded, eagerly taking hold of Kagome’s hand and following along beside her.  Kagome felt it was heartwarming that the
girl was showing so much trust in her already.  She sighed as they stepped outside the women’s bathing room, finding that
neither Sesshomaru nor Jaken were anywhere to be seen.  “I guess they aren’t done yet.”

Rin chirped up.  “It must be because Sesshomaru-sama has so much hair!  He has even more hair than me!”

Kagome chuckled.  “Yes . . . he does have a lot of hair.  I wouldn’t blame him for taking a lot of time with it.”  Just then, the
door opened and the two male slaves walked out into the hallway.  Upon seeing Sesshomaru, Kagome’s mouth went dry.  He
was absolutely gorgeous.  Tall and strong . . . his dampened silver hair catching the rays of light that fell upon him.  She trailed
her eyes up and down his form, her gaze lingering briefly on the stripes on his face and wrists . . . the crescent moon on his
forehead . . . on the damp tail which he had draped across one shoulder.  Seeing him clean, she could scarcely believe it was the
same person.

“Oh, my . . .”  She gasped, then shook her head, trying to think of something meaningful to say.  She was at a loss though . . .
and those golden eyes watched her with fascination.  “Umm . . . well . . . OH, I know!  You’ve met my two sisters, but you
really should meet my brother.  He IS the head of the household.”  She said, letting out a breath she hadn’t known she’d been
holding.  She felt so foolish about her own behavior.  Really . . . lusting over older men was not her hobby, although
Sesshomaru was quite a sight to behold.

“As you wish, Mistress.”  Sesshomaru nodded, averting his eyes.  He looked down and inclined his head, a hint of a curl to his
lips as he looked at Rin.  “Are you well?”

Rin nodded happily, letting go of Kagome’s hand.  “Yup!  I’m gonna get to play with Mistress Kagome’s sister!  I never got to
play before!  I never even had a dolly, and Mistress Kagome promised to get me one of my very own!”

Sesshomaru glanced up, and the confusion in his striking eyes tore at Kagome’s heart.  “You would do that?”  He asked, then
quickly lowered his eyes.

Kagome smiled.  “Every little girl deserves a doll.”  Her smile widened as Rin ran to Sesshomaru, easing her hand against his
palm.  “Please, follow me.”  Kagome walked toward the library, where she knew Sota to be studying.  She called to a passing
servant.  “Will you please have some food, and six sets of dishware, brought to the library?”  After the servant nodded in assent,
she began walking again.

As she reached out to open the library door, she giggled.  Inside, she could hear the old argument, her brother’s voice ringing
out as she pushed the door open.

“Why do I have to do all this stuff?”  Sota asked, a pout to his young voice.  “Why can’t you teach Kagome or Kikyo?  They’re
older than me!”

Kagome cleared her throat, striding over and settling her hands on Sota’s small shoulders.  “Sota . . . why do you always ask
the same question?  The answer will always be the same.  It’s because Kikyo and I are female.”

Sota frowned.  “SO?  What’s that gotta do with anything?”

Kagome sighed.  “That’s just the way things are.  We can’t change it.  We’re lucky that we’re allowed to even own shops . . .
perhaps someday things will be different.”  Deciding to change the subject, she turned her eyes to look at Sota's fellow student.  
“Good afternoon, Kohaku.  I trust you are heeding Myoga’s lessons?”

“Yes.”  Kohaku said, bowing his head.  He had always been a shy boy.  “I want to be able to take care of Sango properly.”

“Umm . . . Kagome, who are they?”  Sota asked, pointing past Kagome.

Kagome turned, a smile on her face.  “Oh, right . . . I almost forgot.  I came to introduce you.”  She waved her arm, gesturing
for the three slaves to come forward.  They did, Sesshomaru and Jaken dropping to their knees before Sota.  As head of the
household, they did have to show proper respect to him.  After a moment, Rin copied their action.

“Sota, this is Sesshomaru, Jaken, and Rin.”  Kagome said, pointing to each in turn.  “I bought them from the slave trader in
town . . . thought I could help them.  Sesshomaru, Jaken, Rin . . . this is my younger brother, Sota . . . his friend, Kohaku . . .
and their teacher, Myoga.”  Kagome said, although she didn’t see Myoga at the moment.  Since he was a flea demon, he was
difficult to spot most of the time.  Then she saw the dot on her brother’s shoulder and knew where he was.

“Is he a real demon?”  Sota chimed, his eyes wide with amazement as he slid from his seat, his gaze fixated on Sesshomaru’s
form.  Myoga jumped from Sota’s shoulder to Kagome’s.

“Yep, a full-blooded dog demon.”  Kagome replied, looking at the slaves for a moment.  “You guys can get up.”

Sesshomaru rose to his feet, Rin and Jaken doing the same.  “Greetings to you, young master.”  The tall demon said, his voice
quiet.

“Wow!”  Sota exclaimed, looking at Sesshomaru with a sense of wonder in his glimmering eyes.  It had been so long since he
had been this excited over anything.  Kagome hated to disturb the moment.  “So, what’s he gonna do?”

“I haven’t thought of anything yet.”  Kagome frowned.  “And no, you can’t keep him . . . he’s not a toy for you to play with.”

Sota pouted, yet anything he meant to say was cut off as a servant knocked on the door and entered, pushing a cart of food
along in front of her.  Together the group sat around one of the tables, although it had taken some persuasion to convince
Sesshomaru and Jaken that they were welcome to sit with them, that they wouldn’t be punished for doing so.

The meal passed pleasantly.  Kagome would occasionally reassure the two demons that they were allowed to eat as much as
they wanted . . . they seemed hesitant to do so, probably with very good reason.  It was likely that no other master had ever
treated them with kindness.

“Okay, you two get back to your studies.”  Kagome said, ruffling her brother’s hair.  “I’m going to take these three to their
rooms.  I don’t want them being bothered today, they need to get settled in.”

“Yes, Kagome.”  Sota said.  “It was nice meeting you, Sesshomaru.”

Sesshomaru bowed.  As he righted himself, he lifted Rin into his arms.  The child was quickly falling asleep again.

Kagome eagerly led them to their rooms, knowing that they needed rest.  She hoped they would be okay . . . she didn’t want
anything to happen to them.  Bidding Jaken a good night’s rest at his door, she continued on, showing Sesshomaru and Rin to
their rooms.  She had made sure to place them close together . . . in fact, their rooms adjoined each other.  She didn’t want Rin
separated from Sesshomaru . . . the child obviously cared for him deeply.

“You sleep well.”  Kagome said, tucking the little girl into bed.

“Thank you, Miss Kagome.”  Rin smiled, her eyes falling shut.

Kagome smiled, sweeping her fingers through the girl’s soft hair.  As Rin’s breathing evened out, the young woman rose to her
feet, taking Sesshomaru by the arm as she guided him to the adjoining room.

“And this is your room.”  Kagome said.  “I hope it’s to your liking.”

Sesshomaru looked around, then bowed his head, never turning to face her as he spoke.  “Are you certain this is for me?”  He
asked, curiosity in his voice.  “It is too large for a slave . . . is it not, Mistress?”

Kagome chuckled lightly.  “I was thinking about that.”  She said, taking a breath.  “Would you . . . like to be freed,
Sesshomaru?”

Sesshomaru turned, a gasp falling from his lips.  He quickly recovered himself though, locking the emotion from showing
again.  “Free?  You would free me?  What of Rin?”

“Well, of course I’d free Rin too.”  Kagome smiled.  “Rin will actually be easier to set free.  You . . . well, that collar, you see . .
. it was placed upon you with magic.  I’ll have to do some checking but I’m pretty sure Kikyo can help to remove it.”  She took
a breath, letting it out.  “Of course, I can’t be certain of anything . . . these collars were made so long ago.  I make no
promises, but I will try.”

“I . . . thank you, Mistress.”  Sesshomaru said, his voice calm.

“Please, call me Kagome.”

“As you wish . . . Kagome.”  Sesshomaru nodded, moving to stand beside the bed.  “Is there anything more you wish of me
tonight?”

Kagome shook her head.  “No, you are free to do as you wish for the rest of the day.  Tomorrow . . . tomorrow I will take you
shopping for some clothing of your own . . . my father’s clothes are a good fit on you, yet you need something of your own.  
We’ll take Rin and Jaken along with us too.”  She smiled, laying a hand on Sesshomaru’s arm.  “Rest well.”

Sesshomaru blinked, but nodded.  He took a seat on the bed, not moving to lie down.  Kagome took the hint, knowing that he
wouldn’t relax until she left.  Quietly, she departed the room, giving Sesshomaru his privacy.  As she closed the door, she
wondered if she would be able to find a spell strong enough to remove those bonds.  Leaving them on was not acceptable . . .
as long as he wore them, he would be in danger.  Even if she went to the courts and set him free, if that collar remained, any
man or woman could claim ownership of him and force him back into servitude . . . and there would be nothing he could do to
stop it if they learned the word of subjugation to control him.  With a decisive nod, she made her way back to the library,
knowing that she had some studying of her own to do.



To Be Continued . . .