InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Quiet ( Chapter 24 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Twenty-Four~~
~Quiet~


-OoOoOo OoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'"If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain ...
'If you're not into yoga; if you have half-a-brain ...
'If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape ...
'You're the love that I've looked for; come with me and escape ..."'

-'Escape (The Pina Colada Song)' by Rupert Holmes.

-Valerie-


Evan leaned against the closed door and shot Valerie a lazy grin, head tilted back, eyes half closed.  "They liked you," he said simply and in a tone that implied that he'd figured that they would.

Valerie rolled her eyes but blushed just a little.  "They were nice," she told him.  "You have your father's eyes."

A strained little smile quirked his lips, and he shrugged.  "Yeah, well," he drawled then shook his head.  "It's about the only thing I got from good ol' Cain."

She frowned and slowly shook her head.  She'd known, hadn't she, that their relationship was a little tense, and to be honest, she'd really thought that Evan's father would be a jerk or something.  He wasn't, and that confused her even more than Evan's strange behavior in regards to the man, to start with.  No, in her opinion, Cain Zelig was warm and friendly, and, while his sense of humor seemed to be a little understated, just from having had breakfast with the man and his wife and son, Valerie had seen enough glimpses of it to know that he had one and that it was almost—almost—as off the wall as Evan's was.

It also hadn't taken her long to figure out that Gin Zelig . . . Well, she was even sweeter and bubblier than Valerie had thought.  The woman was completely amazing, and Valerie just couldn't quite understand how such a kind, almost naïve woman could have possibly given birth and raised the miscreant she'd come to know, and to see Evan interacting with his mother?  Valerie sighed and almost smiled.  It was quite obvious that he absolutely adored her, and no wonder when it was doubly obvious that the woman positively doted on her boy.

At one point, Gin had started singing one of Evan's songs—bad, if one thought about it since all Zel Roka's songs were blatant vocal porn—and Evan had laughed.  The thing was, Gin had used much, much different lyrics—must cleaner lyrics—which had greatly amused Valerie.  Cain hadn't bothered to correct her, but Evan had, and Gin, in her wide-eyed sort of way, had asked what certain phrases meant. Evan had somehow managed to explain them in such a way that Gin obviously hadn't understood the sexual innuendo, and when Valerie glanced at Cain, he'd peeked at her and smiled a little shyly.  "It's not really bad . . . yet," he'd said in explanation as to why he wasn't trying to stop them.

No, Evan's parents really were great, and even though she knew damn well that they were some of the richest people on the planet, to boot, she couldn't say that there was really anything even remotely stuffy about them.  They were cute, they were fun, and it was obvious, too, that they adored one another.

It was strange, though.  Neither of them looked old enough to have a full-grown son in his thirties, and even then, Evan had said that he had an older brother and a half-sister, too.  If she hadn't known better, she never, ever would have thought that they were his parents, not by a long shot.  Gin just didn't look like she was more than maybe twenty—maybe—and Cain?  His demeanor was that of an older guy, sure, but looks-wise?  He looked like he might have been around twenty-five, tops.  She frowned.  Then again, Evan didn't look like he was in his thirties, either.  'Talk about good genes,' she thought to herself.

And as the morning had progressed—she still couldn't quite believe the sheer amount of food that both Evan as well as the really tiny woman, his mother, had ingested—Valerie had felt increasingly bad for her negative assessment about her, to start with.  Still, Evan had winked at her whenever she caught his eye, and he'd prodded her into eating far more than she really ought to have, and that, coupled with her marked lack of sleep the night before, had her yawning despite her best efforts not to.

Evan intercepted the yawn and smiled gently as he pushed himself away from the door and held out his hand.  "C'mon, V."

She blinked at his hand and shook her head.  "Where are we going?" she asked a little dubiously.

Evan chuckled.  "Nowhere untoward. I'm tired.  Big breakfast, you know," he said.

"Tired?" she echoed dumbly.

He nodded and grasped her hand, tugging her along behind him, out of the foyer and toward the staircase.  "Yeah, tired.  I want a nap, and you look like you could use one, too.  By the way, remind me.  I've got your purse."

She stopped short, tugging her hand out of his grasp and frowned at him when he stopped, too.  "Why do you have my purse?"

He shot her a rather apologetic little grin that sent a shiver of something altogether nice right up her spine.  "You forgot it last night," he told her with a shrug.  "V . . . About what I said . . ."

She waved a hand, knowing that he was going to apologize again.  Knowing that he felt bad . . . it unsettled her.  "If I don't have to apologize anymore, then neither do you," she said.

He stared at her for a long moment as his smile widened into something far more dangerous.  "Yeah?"

She nodded.  "Yeah."

"Okay.  Now can we go take a nap?  I'm exhausted," he maintained.

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest.  "I don't think—"

"Keh!  You're my girlfriend for the day, right?  It'd be perfectly normal for me to take a nap with said-girlfriend after a hellaciously large meal like the one we just enjoyed, so come on . . . I'm exhausted, wench."

She blinked, bemused by his choice of words as he grabbed her hand again and started tugging.  "Wench?"

He nodded.  "It's a term of endearment in my family," he told her.

She wasn't entirely sure that she believed him, but she did let him drag her off toward the stairs.  "I like your family," she mused, stifling another yawn with the back of her hand.  "Are you sure you're not going to try anything funny?" she pressed.

Evan rolled his eyes and shot her a chagrined sort of look.  "Nothing funny, swear to God," he promised again.  "Anyway, don't tell me you're not tired, because I won't believe you, anyway."

"Hmm . . . You know, right?  I have a black belt in taekwondo, so if you do anything even remotely bad . . ." she informed him.

He chuckled.  "Do you, really?"

She grinned despite herself, proud of her achievement.  "Yes, I do.  They said I had . . . anger repression issues when I was younger, so they thought that I should channel them into something more constructive."

He laughed outright.  "Anger repression issues?  Aw, hell . . . Isn't that just a nice way of saying that you have a helluva temper?"

She blushed but laughed, anyway.  His laughter seemed to be infectious.  "Something like that, I guess."

"You?  A temper?  You don't say," he teased.

She rolled her eyes and pushed him with her free hand.  He turned long enough to shoot her a cheesy grin before pulling her along behind him down the hallway.  "You're kind of a jerk, Zel Roka—Evan Zelig."

That grin just widened.  "Yeah, maybe a little."  He pushed the door at the end of the hallway open and gestured inside.  "The den of iniquity."

Valerie stepped past him, only to stop short as she looked around the room.  Den of iniquity fit the description quite well, all things considered.  She slowly shook her head.  "Oh, my God . . ." she breathed, unable to wrap her head around exactly what she was seeing.

She wasn't sure what was worse: the stripper pole in the center of the room, the ninety inch television that was flattened against the ceiling—it dropped down when he wanted to watch something, she supposed—the mirrored floor and ceiling, the disco ball that bespoke strange lighting effects from the myriad of tube lights that ran the perimeter of both floor and ceiling, or the heart-shaped, luridly red silk covered waterbed with curtains that extended around the fattest part of the heart.  The headboard of the bed was a mirror with Zel Roka's likeness etched into it, and she could only shake her head in utter disbelief at the small wetbar that rose out of the mantle surround just under that.

"You're kidding, right?" she couldn't help asking, frowning at the soft black suede that covered the walls on the three sides that sported huge windows and a glass door that led to a balcony, she supposed.  The windows were currently half-covered by equally appalling red velvet vertical blinds.  Not surprisingly, the solid wall was mirrored, too.

"Wicked, huh?" he asked her proudly.

Valerie shot him a quick glance to see whether or not he was joking.  He didn't seem to be, and that was even more disturbing, really.  "This is the tackiest thing I think I've ever seen," she mused.

Evan laughed outright at that.  "Nah, it rocks!" he insisted, grabbing a remote control out of the basket hanging on the wall beside the door just underneath the house monitoring station.  "You want to change into something a little more comfy for sleeping?"

She glanced at him and slowly shook her head.  If she thought this was a bad idea before, she really was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, she ought to haul ass for the front door.  "Evan . . ."

He turned around and grinned at her, poised with the remote control raised at the wall of mirrors.  "I like it when you say my name," he murmured in a low, gravely tone that made her heart skip a beat for one dizzying moment.

"I-I think I'm okay," she said, unable to contain the blush that filtered into her cheeks, though she wasn't entirely sure if it was because of the entirely appreciative way he was looking at her or because of his tone of voice.

He snorted, completely shattering the idyll she'd been trapped in.  "Oh, come on, V . . . Who the hell can sleep decently in jeans and a blouse like that?"

She blinked and glanced down at her clothes.  She'd ran back home long enough to shower and change before she'd come over, and she was just wearing a regular pair of jeans and a pretty blouse, nothing fancy.  Still, considering she normally wore sweatpants to sleep in, she supposed that she couldn't really argue with him.  However . . . "You swore—" she began dubiously.

Pressing one of the buttons on the remote control, Evan cut her off with a chuckle.  "That's my closet, V.  I'm sure I've got something you can wear in there."

She stared in surprise as the middle sections of the mirrored wall drew back, opening up to reveal a 'closet-slash-dressing room' that was easily bigger than her living room.  Completely arranged in very neat order, Valerie wasn't entirely sure what to make of it, really.  'Evan Zelig is nothing but one surprise after another, isn't he?' she mused as she shot him a quick glance then headed toward the walk-in closet.

No sooner had she stepped inside then the closet doors slipped closed behind her.  She jumped and looked back, almost afraid that he'd managed to lock her in.  After a moment of inspection, though, she realized that there was a release button hidden in one of the panes of glass, and she smiled.

And ordinarily, she might have just picked something at random, too, but for some reason, the idea of looking at Evan's clothes . . . Well, it was just too good to pass up, really.

Sure, he had the prerequisite rock star garb—torn t-shirts, flashy button down shirts, ripped jeans, and, of course, the all-important leather pants . . . Leather jackets and boots and a pair of really obnoxious hot pink suspenders.  No doubt about it, he was a bit of a strange one, wasn't he?  Her gaze narrowed as she moved down the line.  Nondescript dress shirts?  Neat and tidy jeans, and a couple of Hawaiian shirts thrown in for good measure . . .? She snorted indelicately.  Damn that man, he actually did have a couple suits—not many—two to be exact—but they were very nice ones, too: an Armani and a Gieselolm . . .

All in all, his collection was fairly eclectic, but it was the contents of the large bureau's top center drawer that drew a low snarl from her as she eyed the very eclectic collection of women's underpants with a very, very menacing scowl.  "That dog," she muttered, slamming the drawer closed as a bright flush stained her skin, as much from having been snooping as it had to do with the very idea that the man collected that sort of thing.

It didn't take long for her to snatch a very large un-torn Zel Roka tee-shirt and a pair of black sweatpants that were likely to be a good three sizes too big off a hanger, and change clothes.  Her irritation was still riding high when she pressed the button to let herself out of the changing room.

Evan was fiddling with the house monitoring panel when she finally reemerged, tugging at the drawstrings of the pathetically large pants to secure them.  "You're so gross," she muttered in lieu of a proper greeting.  "Why are you so gross?"

"Gross?" he echoed with a raised eyebrow.  "Gross: slang, meaning 'nasty' or 'disgusting' or German for—" the idiot grinned, "—really, really big?"

She snorted, crossing her arms over her chest and refusing to let him have the satisfaction of making her laugh.  "Disgusting applies," she insisted.

"Oh?"

She nodded stubbornly.  "Yes . . . Is there a reason you're collecting women's underpants?"

He chuckled.  "They're not just underpants, V.  Consider them . . . souvenirs of the places where I've been."

"Ugh . . ." she moaned, pinching the bridge of her nose as she closed her eyes and heaved a sigh.  "You really are sicker than I thought . . ."

He laughed, of course.  She'd have been surprised if he hadn't.  "Tell me something, V," he drawled, cutting her off before she could demand that he get rid of his sordid collection.  "How warm do you like the bed to be?"

She opened her mouth to demand that he stop trying to change the subject but was completely derailed by his frank question.  "You . . . You can adjust that?" she ventured slowly, grudgingly moving in closer to peer around his broad shoulders.

"Yeah," he replied with a shrug, as though it were of no real consequence.  "You get cold, right?"

Somehow, the heart-shaped, tacky as hell bed had gained a few notches of respect in her estimation.  She didn't like it, of course, but . . . but climate control was a very nice thing . . .

He adjusted the setting and shot her a grin.  "C'mon," he said, grasping her hand and tugging her toward the bed.  "You lie down and get comfy while I go change."

"Into what?" she demanded in a slightly tighter voice than she'd meant to use.

He grinned.  "Sweats, V.  Have a heart, will you?"

She snorted but gave a curt nod, eyeing the bed a little warily as he headed for the closet to change.  "I don't know," she called out, unable to completely let go of the idea that maybe, just maybe, this was a really bad idea.  "If you have a guest room . . ."

"Sure, I got one," he replied, his voice muffled by the closet though he hadn't bothered to close the door.  "But my babies use 'em, so I can't be held responsible if you wake up with, you know, dogs all over you.  That and they haven't been cleaned in a while, either, come to think of it . . . I don't usually ask the cleaning lady to do much to them aside from the usual unless someone's coming to visit."  He shrugged, as though it were of little real consequence.  "I don't know that any of the beds are even made up—well, aside from the one the dogs use the most."

She didn't miss his wink as he strode out of the closet, clad in a pair of heather gray sweatpants.  It didn't really reassure her, though.  "You mean to tell me that you live in damn near a mansion, and you don't have a guest room other than the ones that you've let your little monsters take over?"

"You can go look if you want to," he told her with a shrug.  "Just don't open the first door on the left or you might be sorry, and it won't be my fault because I warned you.  'Sides, I swear, I'll be the most chivalrous boyfriend, ever.  Cross my hard-on and hope to fry."

She sighed and shook her head, figuring that if he were really willing to let her check out the rest of the rooms, then he probably was telling the truth.  'Well . . . he did promise . . .'

Evan saw the reluctance on her face, and he sighed.  "Girlfriend for the day, and I agreed to your terms that I would behave, remember?" he said gently.  "Now, come on . . . I'm done in."

Valerie bit her lip but watched in silence as Evan tossed back the covers and crawled into bed.  He seemed innocent enough, didn't he?  He seemed almost . . .  'Don't finish that thought, Valerie,' she told herself sternly.  Even still, as much as she couldn't help the feeling that she really was letting the whole 'girlfriend for the day' thing go a little too far, she really was tired, and though the bed looked entirely garish, it also looked damned comfortable . . .

So she slipped into the bed on the other side, curling up on her side and facing away from Evan.  Nervous, maybe, but she had to admit that it was even more comfortable than it had looked . . . and it was warm—heavenly warm, really—so comfortable, in fact, that she couldn't quite help the happy little sigh that slipped from her as her eyes drifted closed.

In a vague sort of way, she felt Evan pull her close, and while it registered somewhere in the back of her mind that she really ought to stop him, she just couldn't summon the will to do it, either.  The sleepless night before . . . the complete chaos and upset . . . It was all finally catching up with her . . .

And as she drifted off to sleep, she smiled.  She thought she'd felt the brush of lips on her temple, but she just might have been dreaming, too . . .


-Evan-


'Damn, she's beautiful . . .'

Evan heaved a sigh and smiled to himself in an entirely self-satisfied sort of way as he stared at the sleeping woman cuddled against him.  'Yeah . . . yeah, she is.'

Funny, really.  Evan couldn't remember ever having thought that a woman in oversized sweatpants and an overly large tee-shirt was sexy as hell, but he thought so now.  Then again, maybe it had more to do with the idea that Valerie was wearing his scent like a second skin that did it . . .

Go figure.

Or maybe it was Valerie, herself . . .

Entirely possible, really.  There was just something about her, and after having seen how she interacted with her mother and Cain?  Well, it was kind of like icing on the cake, so to speak.

Gin really liked her; damned if she didn't, and Valerie?  Well, he could tell that she'd liked Gin, too, which was exactly how it should be, wasn't it?

She sighed in her sleep and huddled a little closer.

What was it about her that made him feel so . . . so good?  Why was she so very different from the other women he'd met?

It didn't make sense, not at all, and yet there really was something, wasn't there?

He stifled a yawn with the back of his hand.  He was tired, too—just as tired as she was, probably.  Having spent the night outside her window, he'd followed her when she'd gone for a short run, and he hadn't left her until she'd disappeared into Madison's building, where he figured she'd be safe enough.  Only then had he headed home, where he'd stopped long enough to kick off his shoes and lose the jacket before crashing out on the sofa to catch a few z-s before his mother and Cain showed up.  At least, that had been the plan.  In the end, though, he'd only dozed fitfully, realizing in a dazed sort of way that he wouldn't be able to sleep in his clothes but too damned tired to do anything about it aside from unbuttoning his shirt.  Somehow, though, he must've managed to actually fall asleep, because the next thing he knew, she was knocking on his door . . .

So why couldn't he go to sleep now?

He snorted to himself and shook his head.  That was an easy question, wasn't it?  He couldn't sleep because she was there, with him, beside him, and he . . .

All he could do was stare at her, to savor the feel of her—the absolutely perfect way that her body seemed to mold against his.  The familiarity that whispered to him, even if he didn't really understand it . . . She was the one true thing that he knew, wasn't she?  The one—the only one . . .

'My mate.'

His youkai didn't respond though Evan could feel the reassuring peace that resided deep inside him and figured that was good enough.

She wasn't wearing makeup.  Then again, she didn't have to.  Eyes fringed in sooty, dark lashes—thick and lush as they fanned over the tops of her rosy cheeks in her sleep . . . Lips blood red and slightly parted as she breathed softly . . . Even her hair that spilled around her in the softest blanket of liquid gold seemed to glow in the sunshine spilling through the half-opened windows . . .

Her skin seemed to invite his touch, and without a second thought, he did, brushing the backs of his knuckles over her cheek.  She uttered a low moan and turned toward him a little more, her sandy brows furrowing just for a moment before they smoothed out of their own accord.

The beat of her heart beckoned him, drawing him closer than he'd ever been before.  In those moments, it was a beautiful thing, and in those heartbeats, he couldn't help but understand the whispered promise of it.

'What about Marvin?' his youkai chimed in, breaking through the pleasant inebriation of his very proximity to her.

Evan deliberately tried to brush that off with a mental shrug.  'What about him?'

'Well, for starters, they're engaged.'

Evan frowned and concentrated instead on gently touching Valerie's face, needing to imprint the very feel of her somewhere deep in his mind.  'He's not the right one for her,' he maintained stubbornly.

'Maybe not, but that hardly matters when she's engaged to him, not you.'

'You're just a barrel of laughs, aren't you?' he grouched, leaning down to brush the softest kiss over her closed eyes.

'Aww, come on, Zelig.  I wanna fuck her as badly as you do.'

Evan pulled her a little closer and sighed.  'She'll figure out that she belongs with me, not him,' he thought.

'Yeah, maybe.  So how do we help her figure that out?'

Evan's optimism wavered slightly, but he brushed the worry aside.  Better to concentrate on the here and now, wasn't it?  Better . . . and a lot more interesting . . .

Because what it came down to was that he wanted to show her everything, wanted to present her with the world, all wrapped up in a neat little package with a pretty yellow bow on top.  Somehow he'd make her understand, and then she'd realize that what she'd been looking for was the same thing that Evan wanted, too.


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A/N:
'Escape (The Pina Colada Song)' was recorded by Rupert Holmes on his 1979 album, Partners in Crime.  Song written by and copyrighted to Rupert Holmes.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
She's in my bed
==========
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Subterfuge):  I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga.  Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al.  I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.
~Sue~
Chapter 23
Chapter 25
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