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Ephemeral

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It was shortly after Rin turned fifteen that she made a discovery.

Pleasure.

For all her life she'd thought pleasure came simply from the crisp cool bite of melon on a hot summer evening. It was swimming in the lake under the scorching sun; it was frolicking around and singing at the top of her lungs in the clearing of the forest.

But one day, she'd been bathing in the lake when she'd stumbled upon a new form of pleasure.

Her body had changed in the past year—her breasts had grown and become rounder, her hips wider. Curious, she'd been probing her newfound curves, her fingers exploring the swell of her left breast under the water. She'd poked her nipples, confused by how they'd pebbled and hardened at her touch.

And then something odd had occurred.

The more she had touched herself, the more a strange tension had gathered between her thighs. The unprecedented sensation had taken Rin off-guard. She couldn't for the life of her understand how touching her breasts had elicited a reaction further down south. Feeling lost yet wired, she'd reached down and gingerly traced her fingers along the dark curls and wet folds at the apex of her thighs.

She'd brushed a tiny little spot near where her folds began, and let out a soft gasp at the acute pinprick of pleasure it ignited through her body. Bewildered but eager to feel the unexpected sensation again, she thumbed the tight, sensitive little bud once more, panting as the pleasure heightened. The smouldering tension inside her belly welled up even further, and she found herself rubbing the swollen bud more frantically in pursuit for something she didn't know.

And then the tension broke, and she arched her back with a stifled cry as the acute pleasure peaked into a dizzying rush of hot-white ecstasy. She felt her inner muscles convulse into a frenzied series of contractions the same time her vision whited out in a blinding flash.

It felt, for lack of a better term, like her body was being ripped asunder by a bolt of lightning. By the time she descended from her high, she was trembling uncontrollably, her knees weak as her heart pounded maniacally in her chest.

Never in her life had Rin felt anything like it. It was a kind of euphoria that made even the sweetest melon seem like a distant memory. She had never considered herself much of a glutton, but she found herself hungry and craving for more.

The following week passed in a blur. She would retire at night in the small hut Kaede had assigned to her, and touch that little sensitive bundle of nerves between her legs from under the blanket. She couldn't bring herself to share her discovery with anyone; she didn't even know how to put it into words. She didn't understand what it meant at all. It was bizarre and confusing. Her body felt increasingly alien to her. What was the purpose of that little bud—the centerpiece of the newfound pleasure she was experiencing—that peeped through the top of her folds? She'd never noticed its existence up to this point.

She had awoken early one morning and squinted at the feeble shafts of sunlight spilling through the crack of the wooden door of her hut. Judging by the wan sunlight, the sun had only just risen, and she didn't have to get up yet to perform her chores for Kaede.

Deciding she would take advantage of the small margin of time she had, Rin had slipped her hand back down the apex of her thighs. By now she had become quite familiar with fondling that particular hypersensitive spot, and it didn't take her long before she was overcome by that intense, all-consuming sensation again.

She had buried her face into the pillow to stifle her scream, her nether muscles spasming uncontrollably as she ejected a copious gush of wetness all over her hand. Once the powerful sensation had ebbed and faded from her body, she'd lain there in a sweaty, boneless heap, her heart beating so fast she could hear it in her ears.

She needed to go to the lake to clean herself off. She couldn't do her errands drenched in sweat and with that inexplicable slickness between her legs and on her hand. She still didn't know what that mysterious viscous liquid was—it wasn't sweat or urine—and the feel of it on her flesh always unsettled her, as if it was evidence of an unknown sin she had committed.

She lay there for a few more minutes, too woozy and sluggish in the aftermath to get up. She'd almost dozed off again until she heard the familiar croak of Kaede's voice at the door.

"Oi, Rin!" A tap on the wooden door sounded. "You have a visitor. I think you know who. Get yourself ready, child."

Rin jackknifed up on her futon at once, her drowsiness forgotten. Her heart rate sped up all over again, this time with excitement, disbelief and delight.

Her master did not have a fixed schedule by which he came to visit her. The longest he'd gone was a month between visits, but he would typically return within a few weeks to see her. It had been a week and a half since he'd last visited, and she scrambled to her feet exuberantly now. "Coming!"

Rin stopped, then squirmed. She was covered in sweat, and the prominent wetness between her legs was still there. Regardless, she didn't have the time to bathe herself now. Rapidly she tied her sash around her waist and briefly wiped her damp hand with a spare cloth.

Then she pushed open the wooden door and dashed enthusiastically out of her hut with unsteady legs. She waved at the hunchbacked figure of Kaede sweeping the yard and continued her sprint across the lush green pasture.

She saw him then: a tall regal silvery-haired figure standing against the dark golden sunrise in the distance. A burst of delight washed over her, and she cried out, "Sesshōmaru-sama!"

He didn't move, but it didn't matter. She continued scampering across the grass towards him, panting as the amber sun steadily edged its way over the horizon. Despite the few inches in height she'd gained over the years, she remained petite even for a female, and he continued to tower over her easily.

"Sesshōmaru-sama!" Rin exclaimed breathlessly, her voice filled with joy at her guardian's return. "Rin has missed you so very much!"

A gentle breeze came upon them, rippling the long strands of their hair as well as the magnificent white pelt of her guardian's mokomoko. He lifted his elegant head silently to the air, his silken ivory hair fluttering in the breeze around his angular porcelain face.

Then, without moving an inch of his body, those piercing golden eyes glanced in her direction.

Rin stiffened, sucking in her breath. A sudden realisation was beginning to dawn through her euphoria, and she felt her belly twist.

She knew just how uncannily sharp her master's nose was. He could identify an individual's scent miles away, let alone with her standing right next to him. He could probably scent every miniscule drop of sweat on her, as well as…

She swallowed as she felt the mysterious slickness of her release slide down her inner thigh in a teasing rivulet.

No. It couldn't be, right? Did that slickness even have a scent? His emotionless gold eyes told her nothing, but she couldn't help the little hitch in her throat.

Lord Sesshōmaru's demonic capabilities had never been anything of concern to her. She had always adored and been at perfect ease with him, but the possibility that her guardian might have discovered her guilty secret unnerved her. Her hands felt clammy, and her throat dry. This was not something she wanted to share with anyone, especially not her master. She wasn't used to keeping any secrets from him, but she couldn't help the strange instinct to conceal this. Even if he'd cottoned on, she didn't know if he understood her secret any more than she did.

"Sesshōmaru-sama," Rin said, keeping her high-pitched voice cheerful despite the thudding of her heartbeat. "Rin is sorry—she is sweating because of a little run. Rin would like a quick bath in the lake so that she may present herself to you properly. May I proceed, my lord?"

The breeze intensified, rippling their hair further. Her unsettlement grew at the silence that followed.

Then, at last, he spoke quietly, in the familiar deep rich voice.

"Do as you please."

Rin brightened and beamed, her pulse racing in her veins. "Thank you, Sesshōmaru-sama! Rin will be right back!"

She didn't hesitate—she turned on her heel and took off hurriedly into a run on the soft grass. Throughout it all, a single thought rebounded in her muddled head.

Did he know?