Midnight bribe, Moonlight bride by elevenharbor

condition (Sesshomaru)

A/N: Hookay. Finally got my writing panties back on and attempted to write. I used prompts from the April sesskag DDN to jumpstart this idea I've had for a while [even though I couldn't participate during the live event :( ]. Multiple tropes, here we go!!

Also, I'm trying out writing in first-person POV. It'll be switching between Sesshomaru's and Kagome's POV. Modern/AU...maaaybe canon-divergent. idk yet.

Double also: this isn't proofread or edited. Literally just started writing, went over it once, and posted. no beta. Apologies for the 1001 grammar/syntax errors! I'm just practicing at this point. ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Regardless, let me know what ya think!

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Five. 

Four. 

Three.

I began to count down the seconds in my head as the sound of high heels clicking against the marble floors became louder with each step. 

Two.

One.

The double doors to my study burst open suddenly, as if on cue. At the center of the threshold stood my mother, a disapproving look on her face. If looks could kill, my mother’s glare would have massacred, which almost made me flinch. Almost. 

“Sesshōmaru Taisho,” she began, her talon-sharp nails tapping steadily against the heavy wooden doors. 

I glanced up from the book I was reading, annoyed at being interrupted for something so asinine as this. It was the same argument each week. If it didn’t start with the topic of marriage, it would almost always end with it. “Hello, mother. To what do I owe this visit?”

My answer came in the form of a magazine being hurled at me. Reflexively, I caught it before it made contact with my face. Unfurling the tabloid, it didn’t take long for me to scan it; big, white letters were superimposed on a badly photoshopped photo of me with four scantily dressed women gracing the front page. It wasn’t hard to miss.

’ Billionaire Bachelor on the prowl: KML exec Sesshōmaru Taisho spotted at a nightclub with a harem of blondes!’ Huh.” I read out loud. “Interesting. I do not fancy blondes.”

“Stop gallivanting around town like a rabid dog on heat!” She scolded, as if I had been caught stealing from the cookie jar. “It’s time for you to end this charade and settle down.”

“You test my patience with this trivial matter, mother,” I replied, venom laced in my tone, warning her to drop the subject. “I am simply not ready for matrimony.”

“You? Not ready? You are nearing forty!” My mother retorted, crossing her arms as she entered my study without permission. “I need to retire soon.” 

Dressed in her customary black pencil skirt, pristine white blazer, and black Christian Louboutin stiletto pumps, my mother was the epitome of class, her appearance never giving away her chronological age. She was a trailblazer in the fashion industry and has been for the past few decades, even though her line of work was far from it. She was a venture capitalist, through and through. An alumna of Harvard and Wharton Business School with distinction, Kimi Taisho was a tycoon in every sense, ever since she learned how to balance operating budgets at age thirteen and established her company, KML Enterprise, at nineteen. 

Unfortunately, much of my childhood, my formative years, and my adulthood mimicked hers, with little wiggle room. She made sure of it. 

She was relentless in everything she set her mind to, which contributed to her success. She was a driven woman with steel focus when she set her mind on something. Right now, however, her focus was solely on marrying her eldest son off as soon as yesterday. It’s all she ever talked about, as of late. 

“I am not suited for married life, mother.” I still reasoned, despite knowing it fell on deaf ears.

“Nonsense! Your father and I married when I was twenty. I had you at twenty-three. You are almost twice my age when I gave birth, and yet you still choose to play games.”

“I am thirty-three. Unless you forget how to count, that is nowhere near forty, or forty-six.” I corrected, trying to keep my cool and not lose control. I folded my glasses and placed them on top of the now-abandoned book. “No one is holding you back from resigning. I am perfectly capable of taking over the company in your stead.”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” she scoffed, walking over until she hovered above me. “You know my condition. You want the company? Then get married. Stop making me, and our family, look terrible. It’s bad press.”

“Quite frankly, I do not care.”

“Sesshōmaru—“

Balling my fists in anger, I stood up and glared down at the woman who birthed me, towering over her by a good six inches. “I have established myself as the CEO of KML Enterprise since I received my master’s degree from Wharton, just as you requested. I have spearheaded the rapid growth of our international branch, which has elevated your status and influence to greater heights. I get weekly offers to merge with our competitors, who are clearly being left in the dust and want a slice of the pie that you currently hold.”

I was ignited, and I couldn’t stop. “So tell me again, mother. How do I make our family look bad?”

Arguing with her was causing my migraine to bloom. I needed to get away from her. Fast.

“This conversation is done,” I said sternly, getting up from my seat and grabbing my jacket from the coat rack. I quickly patted my breast pocket, ensuring that I still had my medication with me, just in case.

“This conversation is over when I say it’s over,” she barked at my retreating form. “Take one more step, and I am taking away your car!”

“I own my car. Same goes for this house that you are currently trespassing on.” I spat back, turning around so she could see just how unaffected I was, or at least I thought. 

“Say that again.”

I narrowed my eyes at her. “Your threats are meaningless. It might work on my brother, but it bears no consequence for me.”

“At least your brother has the sense to listen to me,” she replied cooly, studying her red lacquered nails. “Perhaps I should take more than your petty house and your cheap car. You know as well as I do that I get what I want.” A devilish smile formed across cherry-painted lips. “I have my ways, Sesshōmaru. Do not cross me.”

The room was deathly silent as I contemplated her counter-threat. I knew she had the capability to strip me of my position and my shares in the company, regardless of whether the board of directors agreed or not. I have seen her do this to a fellow board member with no remorse or recourse. I may be her son by blood, but I didn’t want to risk finding out if familial ties held any weight when it came to protecting her business, just to prove a point. 

Hardening my gaze, I finally relented. “Fine. I’ll do it. I’ll get married.”

“That’s my boy,” my mother cooed sweetly, her ire gone in an instant. It was disturbing how easily she flipped, like a switch. “See? That wasn’t so hard!” 

I wasn’t convinced. “But I need a year. And I’m doing this on my terms. With who I want.”

“Fine, but I get the final say,” my mother countered. “She better meet my standards, otherwise you will marry who I choose for you, on my terms.”

Leave it to her to throw my offer back in my face and set terms. Of course, there would be conditions. Kimi Taisho did not embark on any deals, personal or otherwise, unless there were conditions—mostly to her benefit. It’s how she operated and how she maneuvered the cut-throat business world with such finesse. 

She was an assassin with her tongue. Every word held weight.

“One year, Sesshōmaru. Starting today, and not a day more. Do not disappoint me.” She hammered once more before turning her heel and walking away, ascending the stairs and disappearing from my sight altogether.

As soon as the sound of her clicking heels faded, I released a long sigh that I didn’t realize I had been holding. 

Contrary to what my mother believed, I’ve wracked my brain on how to go about this whole marriage fiasco more times than I would like to admit. Though I have had my share of dating women, none of them had met my standards, regardless of their social status. They were either after my money or my looks, and I found them all to be a bore even after bedding them. In my defense, they threw themselves at me, despite my best efforts to thwart their advances. I’m no fool, however. I’m a man with carnal needs, after all. 

I had even explored the idea of paying someone I’d contractually hire to be my pretend partner, but after careful consideration and going through each scenario, I decided it was more trouble than what it was worth. I didn’t know how I could fool my mother, who had a keen eye for discerning deception from the truth. I also didn’t want to put myself in a position to be further ridiculed by her, or anyone else, if word got out. 

My list of options was dwindling, but I wasn’t ready to give up yet. Not that I believed in marriage as a sacred thing or marrying for love, but above all, I’ve been rebelling for as long as I have to keep my freedom. Marriage was a hindrance, and it signified the end of my life when I commit myself to another person for the rest of my waking days. 

As my mother reminded me earlier and on numerous past arguments, she and my father wed when they were barely adults. Whether their marriage was out of convenience or commitment, or maybe even love, their so-called marriage still failed in the end. My father had conceived my brother with another woman out of wedlock. My mother ended up adopting my half-brother, in part due to my father repenting for his mistakes and how his mistress had died shortly after childbirth, leaving the child mother-less at such a young age. 

However, all that groveling was for naught since my father died in a car accident not long after— leaving my mother widowed with a newly adopted toddler and a school-aged, tantrum-prone child. 

I was resentful at first, but as my brother and I grew up, both suffering under our mother’s totalitarian ways, we bonded over our shared misery. My mother never re-married, instead choosing to raise us with the help of countless nannies. Sheltered for most of my life until college, I only had my parents’ shining example to go by. 

Clutching my head, I felt like I was floating as the migraine cascaded down in full force. I was thinking too much again, and not in a good way. Immediately seizing the bottle from my breast pocket, I swallowed the pill dry, hoping the medication would take effect before I was left incapacitated. 

“I need to relax,” I said to no one, as I pulled out my phone and dialed my assistant’s number to fetch me. Perhaps driving during rush hour with a jackhammer pounding my skull wasn’t the greatest idea...nor was operating any machinery in the next hour, driving a car included, since I had taken my medication not even five minutes ago. I was sure it would hinder not just my hand-eye coordination, but my level of consciousness as well. 

“Sesshōmaru-sama!” My assistant squawked eagerly on the other line. “How can I be of service to you at this hour?”

“Drop the honorifics, Jaken. Take me to Yura’s. Call them for a walk-in appointment on your way to me.” I commanded in rapid succession. It was getting harder to think and speak coherently. “Book Kagome specifically. No one else.”

“It shall be done. I take it Mrs. Taisho paid you a visit?” 

“Not now, Jaken.” I didn’t intend to sound blunt, but right now was really not the time for small talk. I needed to get to Yura’s first and get my ‘unconventional’ treatment to keep this blasted migraine at bay. 

“I will be there in thirty minutes,” I heard Jaken say before I hung up. I closed my eyes and willed the headache to go away, at least until Kagome performed her magic or whatever she did as she massaged my head and pulled at my strands. It was the only thing that halted my perseverating thoughts, relaxing me altogether. Her conversations were not unpleasant either, and as my migraines increased in frequency, I found myself becoming a regular patron. 

Although I couldn’t see her features due to her face mask and head covering, her expressive blue eyes told me enough. She was a keen listener, and she did not ridicule me nor made me feel like I was going insane from the typical chaos that is my daily life. Over the past few months, I felt like she had been my confidante during our sessions, and she responded appropriately. I knew she was intelligent when she was able to keep up with the financial jargon that spewed out of my mouth after a long day at the office. She even made suggestions that made sense, some of which I had applied to one of my bidding meetings successfully, much to my delight.  

I wondered what she would say if I brought up this whole marriage conundrum. Maybe she could offer a solution that I have yet to discover. 

“Perhaps I should pay her instead of my therapist,” I said aloud to see if it sounded absurd. While Dr. Bokuseno was revered as the best in town, Kagome did a better job than that overpriced, old geezer.  Unproductive therapy sessions aside, I still kept him because he was, technically, my legal drug dealer.  

Taking the orange bottle out of my pocket once more, I looked inside and frowned. I only had three pills left. I’ve been taking them at a faster rate than usual. 

Twirling the bottle between my thumb and forefinger, I grimaced at the three pills that rolled around. “Pathetic.” 

I set a reminder on my phone to get another refill soon. 

Glancing at the time, I groaned in frustration. Only five minutes had passed since I last spoke to Jaken. 

I closed my eyes and meditated, but to no avail. Instead, I sat back down on my ottoman and grabbed the nearest thing within reach, which happened to be the tabloid of my scandalous rendezvous on the front page. Whoever wrote up this piece was going to be hearing from my lawyer in the morning. 

Thirty minutes felt like thirty years. What was taking that toad so long?

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prompts: Count, Patience, Control, Ignite, Embark, Float, Cast, List, Ascend, Begin/Halt

words: 2,363 (wtf..o_0)

 

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