Thistle While You Work by Sereia

Chapter 2

Magical Monthly Prompts (September 2022): Opportunity, Sapphire (truth), Aster (elegance, patience), "Why haven't you kissed me yet?"


Sesshoumaru sighed, checking his watch for the umpteenth time.

His mother was late.

In fact, they were all late, him being the only one currently standing outside the restaurant. After the fiasco in the flower shop, she'd somehow manipulated him into joining her on a double date—one he was seriously contemplating walking away from, consequences and honour be damned.

"Don't tell me you got stood up?"

Sesshoumaru turned to meet a pair of shocked sapphire eyes. "Hardly. I am simply waiting for my mother."

The woman gave him a soft smile. "That's so wonderful. Though you must be very patient, you've been standing here almost as long as I have."

A pale eyebrow rose, taking in her full figure, the cut of her dress modest enough not to draw the wrong kind of attention, but wrapped tight enough around her waist to show off her curves. Considering the type of clothing he'd seen other patrons wear on their way into the restaurant, her outfit was a welcome reprieve, one that had him taking a second look.

"Do you see your mother often?" she asked, the honest curiosity in her voice compelling him to answer.

"Not as much as she would like."

The woman clicked her tongue. "You really should. You never know how much time you'll have left with her." Something in her tone had him biting back his sarcastic response, her expression turning sombre.

"You have lost yours," he surmised, running his hand through his hair.

She nodded. "It feels more recent than it is, but I guess that just means she made an impact."

"Mothers often do," he said, knowing that any offered condolences would feel out of place.

Shaking herself out of her melancholy, she tightened her hand around the purse strap on her shoulder. "What is your mother making you do that's got you all sour?"

"She has blackmailed me into an unwanted blind date," he replied, unable to take the bite out of his tone. To his chagrin, the woman actually laughed, the sound genuine and melodic as it cut through the evening air.

"Don't you have friends to do that?"

"They would not dare," he said, causing her to laugh again.

"I think I would've preferred Mama setting me up. The people my friends insisted I meet were terrible. One of them tried to get me to join a pyramid scheme!"

"A horrendous first date," he agreed.

"Tell me about it." She sighed, then looked at the parking lot. "I hope the one you have tonight is better."

Sesshoumaru scoffed, running an agitated hand through his hair. "Unlikely, considering it was my mother who set it up." Melancholy leeched back into her scent, souring the sweet aroma of citrus wafting past his nose. "She is not in it for my happiness, as yours likely was."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. The woman she brings will likely be a simpering twit only interested in my bank account."

"She'd be stupid not to notice this first," she said, waving a hand at him.

A pale eyebrow raised. "You just motioned to all of me."

A slow smile tugged at the corner of her lightly painted lips. "Exactly."

How wonderfully seductive.

He moved closer, breathing a sigh of relief at the lack of a wedding ring on her finger. "And what was it that you noticed first?"

She tapped her chin, still grinning at him. "Definitely your eyes. Especially since you haven't been ogling me the entire time we've been out here."

"I could have," he said. "But I was not sure how you would take compliments from a stranger."

Mischief shone through sapphire eyes, her smile widening before she tossed dark curls over her shoulder. "I guess you'll have to tell me your name, then. That way we won't be strangers anymore."

"Sesshoumaru Taisho." He mentally cursed himself when her eyes widened in recognition.

"No wonder you were worried about your date going after your money," she hummed. "I doubt there's a woman in town who hasn't fantasized about being your eye candy."

"I do not deal with eye candy," he growled, recalling several scathing gossip columns about his lack of partner in recent years. They always assumed the worst, spreading rumours about literal skeletons in his closet.

"Too busy trying to cure cancer, right?" Both brows disappeared under his bangs, her cheeks darkening in a delightful blush. "I might've read a few health magazines where you were mentioned."

"Should I have been worried about being ogled by you?" he asked.

Her cheeks turned pink, but her smile remained. "I think a better question is why you haven't kissed me yet."

A fang poked out over his lower lip as he smirked at her. "I was not aware you wished for one."

She shifted her weight, one hand on her hip. "Maybe you should think about asking then."

"I would ask your name first."

Her expression softened. "A gentleman, too. I'm surprised you haven't had more offers for blind dates."

"There are always offers," he said, the scent of citrus more potent with every step he took towards her. "But none have captured my attention."

"Until now?" she asked hopefully.

"Until now."

She held out her hand, chuckling when he looked at it in confusion. "I'm Kagome Higurashi." Finally understanding, Sesshoumaru wrapped his fingers around hers, but instead of shaking, he brought her knuckles to his lips.

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

She let out a low whistle. "Your date isn't going to send her lawyers after me if I steal you away, is she?"

He snorted. "Her sister works in a flower shop. I sincerely doubt they have the finances to procure council for something so frivolous."

Dark brows scrunched together in a frown. "What's wrong with owning a flower shop?"

"It is hardly a means to support oneself," he sniffed. "There is no money to be made outside of anniversaries and Valentine's Day."

"Now wait just a minute—"

"Oh good! You are already acquainted." Kimiko appeared in a flourish of lavender silk, silver hair pinned up in an elegant twist. She grabbed Kagome's hands, kissing both cheeks. "I apologize for the delay, darling. Your sister distracted me when we were getting ready."

"I'm sure she did." She gave the woman a sweet smile before turning back to Sesshoumaru, dread pooling in his stomach at the look on her face. "A simpering twit? No means to support ourselves?"

"I did not mean—"

"I'll have you know that our finances are just fine," she interjected, tempter flaring. "Enough to pay for med school, or is that just another frivolous expense?" She glared at him, then bowed in apology to his mother before walking back into the parking lot, not once glancing back.

"What did you do?" Kimiko asked, smacking the back of his head with her fan. "We are no more than fifteen minutes late, and you have already—"

He didn't let her finish, rushing after Kagome.

Kimiko started to follow, but Kagura grabbed her wrist. They watched as Sesshoumaru stopped Kagome from getting into her car, holding the door shut as he pleaded his case. To his credit, he took every angry word Kagome had to offer.

Kagura grinned. "He likes her."

Kimiko raised an eyebrow. "How so?"

Kagura squeezed her hand. "First off, you said he's never apologized to anyone. Second, he's smiling." And it was true; Kagome was still yelling at him, going as far as to poke him in the chest, but his eyes were gleaming with interest. "And if Kagome was actually pissed, she'd have run him over already."

Sesshoumaru grabbed Kagome's hand, bowing low before wrapping it around his arm and motioning back towards the restaurant. She pointed a finger in his face, but he wasn't deterred, leaning closer and whispering in her ear.

Kimiko and Kagura chuckled at the blush that appeared on her cheeks. "I'm holding you to that," Kagome said as she allowed Sesshoumaru to lead her back to the entrance. "And you've already used up your get-out-of-jail-free card."

"I apologize for my son's behaviour—"

Blue eyes blazed as Kagome shook her head. "You have nothing to apologize for. Your son, however, is on thin ice until I say otherwise."

"How gracious you are," Sesshoumaru murmured, his hand still on top of hers.

"Don't push your luck," she said, straightening her shoulders before looking at her sister. "Shall we?"

Kimiko didn't bring up the fact that she'd been right about Kagome being perfect for him.

More than once.


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