InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ The Storm ( Chapter 52 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Fifty-Two~~
~The Storm~


' So I guess the fortune teller's right
'I should have seen just what was there and not some holy light
'But you crawled beneath my veins and now
'I don't care; I have no luck
'I don't miss it all that much
'There's just so many things that I can't touch
'I'm torn …'

-'Torn' by Natalie Imbruglia.


"Evan?"< br>
"In here," he called without looking up from the guitar he was strumming.  He wasn't exactly writing a song or anything; he just felt like playing.

He heard the click of her heels on the floor and felt the warmth of her aura long before she stepped into the room.  "Keeping yourself out of trouble, Roka?"

The absolute caress of her voice rippled over him with a gush of heat that shot straight to his groin, and he shivered slightly, adjusting the guitar that covered his lap before slowly lifting his gaze to meet hers. Lounging in the doorway with her arms crossed over her chest, the contours of her body visible beneath the sheer fabric of the white silk blouse, Valerie smiled just a little in greeting.  "I'm good, baby," he drawled lazily.

Her eyes narrowed slightly though her smile widened.  "Somehow, I doubt that," she countered.  "I bought something for you."


"Mm," she intoned with a little nod.  "It's not much, but, well, I saw it, and for some reason, I immediately thought of you."

"Is that right?" he asked, setting the guitar aside.  Why did the idea that she'd gone out of her way to buy him a gift make him almost stupidly happy?  "I like presents."

She laughed softly and used her shoulder to push herself away from the doorjamb before pivoting on her heel—damn, the woman had nice ankles—and leading the way into the living room once more.

"So is it bigger than a breadbox?" he quipped, quite happy to follow her wherever she wanted to lead him.

"Here," she replied, leaning to the side to nab a dark green bag with raffia handles off of the sofa.  "It's so cheesy—entirely kitschig—but, well, perfect for you," she went on.


She rolled her eyes, probably because he sounded just a little too excited about the unseen gift.  He took the bag from her and peered inside.  A broad grin surfaced on his features as he carefully pulled the wholly gaudy and blatantly awful hula dancer lamp out.  "This is awesome!" he exclaimed happily.  "Wow . . . this ranks right up there with the leg lamp from A Christmas Story!"

"Leg lamp?" she echoed with a shake of her head, clearly unfamiliar with the lamp in question.

He set the lamp on the table and knelt down to plug it in.  "Sure.  The dad wins this contest, right?  So they deliver this huge-assed crate, and when he gets it open, it's a life-size leg lamp.  The whole fucking thing lights up!"

Valerie clamped her mouth closed and slowly shook her head, but her lips were quirked just the tiniest bit.  "That figures," she muttered.

"Oh, my God!  She dances!" Evan crowed as he sank back on his heels and stared in blatant admiration at the lamp.  The hula girl was formed from a very soft rubber, and when he'd turned it on, she'd started swiveling her hips under the tinsel-like grass hula skirt.  "That so rocks!"

"I can't believe you're so thrilled by a cheesy little lamp," she told him.

He chuckled and carefully straightened the hula girl's hair that had gotten caught up on the pink lei around her neck.  "She's fantastic," he insisted.

"Proof positive that you're easily entertained," Valerie shot back, but her gaze was bright, her cheeks slightly flushed.  She was happy that he was pleased; that much was obvious.

Pushing himself to his feet, he caught her hands and raised them to his lips.  "Don't suppose you'd hula for me, would you?" he prompted after placing a very loud kiss on her knuckles.

Valerie snorted indelicately and rolled her eyes again, though she didn't try to pull her hands away.  "Can't say that I know how to," she replied glibly.

"That right?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow as he tugged her around the sofa.  "Say . . . Can you dance at all?"

"Nope, not a step," she said a little too quickly—a little too smoothly.  "I'm a lawyer.  Lawyers don't dance."

Evan shot her a droll look and shrugged, ignoring the facetiousness in her tone for the moment.  "Oh, so you're not perfect after all."

"Like I ever said I was," she scoffed.  "Forget it, Roka.  I'm on to you and your trickery."

"Oh?  And what am I trying to trick you about?"

Valerie laughed and pulled her hands away.  "What aren't you trying to trick me about?" she countered.  "I know what you're doing. You're not nearly as slick as you think you are."

"Is that right?" he chuckled.  "You're right.  I'm not."

He shook his head.  "Well, you did dance with me before," he reminded her.

She stiffened, as though the reminder of the night they'd danced together was something she'd rather not think about, and he supposed he could understand that.  To be honest, he wasn't too pleased with himself when he thought about it, too.  "That wasn't dancing.  That was just swaying a little.  Anyone could do that."

He chuckled.  "True 'nough.  So you're tellin' me that you can't dance, but you can sway?  Makes you damn good in bed, doesn't it?"

She almost laughed again.  "Too bad you'll never find out about that.  Tell me something, would you?"

Evan turned to fiddle with the hula dancer's skirt.  "Huh?"

"You're so ADHD," she complained.

"What's that?"

Her response was a heavy sigh.  "See what I mean?"

Dragging his attention off the swaying hula dancer, Evan leaned against the arm of the sofa and grinned at her.  "I'd pay more attention if you were wearing a little grass skirt and a couple of coconut shells."

Shaking her head, she tossed a throw pillow into his face. "You're so weird."

"Yeah, but I have a really big, fat dick," he retorted.  "Wanna see?"

She didn't even bat an eyelash.  "No.  You do remember, right?  You've got another court date Friday, and you're going to behave."

"'I love myself . . . I want you to love me . . . When I feel down, I want you above me . . .'" he sang.

Valerie sighed and reached over to grasp his knee.  "Focus, Roka."

He blinked and nodded.  "Oh, sorry."

She didn't look like she believed him.  "I'm sure.  Now, about that court date . . ."

"But I want you," he said.

Those hazel eyes narrowed suspiciously.  "You're really not listening to me, are you?"

"'I don't want nobody else . . .'"

She sat back, pressing her lips together in a tight line as her eyebrows raised just a little bit.

"'And when I think about you . . . I respect myself . . .'" To emphasize his point, he reached down, rubbing himself quite unabashedly through the roughened fabric of his jeans and uttered a long, low, ragged groan, his body reacting, even if he wasn't being serious.

Leaning slightly to the side, she did a full-body eye-roll, much to Evan's amusement.  "Stop that, and stop quoting lyrics, you idiot!" she complained, completely chagrined, though whether it was because of what he'd said or because she was struggling not to grin, herself, was debatable.

Evan chuckled and shrugged in a blatant show of mock-innocence.  "Seriously, woman, do you have any idea just how fucking hot you are?  Just looking at you is enough to make me wanna—"

"Save it, Roka," she interrupted before he could elaborate on what he 'wanted to do'.  "I want your promise that you'll be on your best behavior when you appear before the judge.  Understand?"

Evan let out a longsuffering sigh designed to let her know exactly what he thought of that.  "Tell you what, baby," he drawled, reaching out with a finger to rub her knuckles, her hand resting on the back of the sofa.  "I'll be good as gold if . . ."

She stared at him for a full minute before demanding, "If, what?"

He grinned to himself.  He really hadn't expected for her to hesitate that long.  "If . . . If you give me a good reason to."

Jerking her hand back, she flicked his finger and looked like she might be trying to find something close by to heave at his head.  "You're so nasty . . ." she grumbled, her tone indicating that she'd suspected that he'd come up with something like that.  "Why are you so nasty?"

"I dunno, V," Evan said as he got to his feet to follow her when she shot to her feet and stomped toward the kitchen.  "Why were you in my bushes?"

She stopped abruptly, and for a moment, he thought that she just might whip around to hit him.  "Oh, I hate you!" she whined, pinching the bridge of her nose as she hastened her step, heading for the chiller where he kept drinks.

"You wish you did, but you don't," he replied lightly.  "Grab me a beer while you're in there, baby?"

"If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, Roka.  I dropped my—my—my—"

"Earring," he supplied as she kicked the chiller drawer closed and jabbed the ice-cold bottle of beer into his chest.

"That's right, my earring," she went on in a huff, viciously yanking the cap on the cherry wine cooler in her hand and tossing the bit of metal at the sink.  "Furthermore, it's entirely brattish of you to keep bringing it up, don't you think?"

He chuckled as she strode past him, heading for the living room once more.  She'd almost cleared the doorway when he called after her.  "Yeah, but you didn't say you're not my baby," he murmured, tossing the cap from his beer the same way she'd chucked the one from her wine cooler.

She paused in her stride but didn't stop, and he laughed out loud when she flipped him the bird over her shoulder but kept moving.


Valerie shivered and rubbed her upper arms as she stood at the glass doors that led to Evan's back yard.  Grimacing when a jagged bolt of lightning struck down not too far away, she watched as the rain fell in huge, torrential droplets into the agitated surface of the water in the pool.

What was it about the rain that made her feel this way?  The melancholy, the sense of sadness that only accompanied a thunderstorm . . .

"I love storms," Evan remarked, draping his hands on his hips as he stepped up beside her.  She blinked and turned to stare at him.  The exhilaration in him was nearly a palpable thing.  Bright eyes darting here and there at the skies outside, he actually grinned when a flash of lightning split the darkness.  "Can you feel it, V?  It's great . . .!"

She shook her head.  "It's . . . kind of frightening; don't you think?"

"Frightening?" he scoffed without looking at her.  "Are you kidding?  It's awesome!  The energy . . . the electricity . . . Damn, baby!  It's killer!"

She shot him a droll look before pivoting on her heel and stalking off toward the kitchen to get something to drink.

When the storm had hit, she hadn't thought anything of it.  To be honest, it hadn't been that noticeable until the lights had gone out.  It was an eerie thing, seeing parts of the city devoid of light.  For a woman who had come from a pretty small town, that had taken awhile to get used to, but stranger still was the sense of unease that gripped her now.  She had gotten used to the fact that the city just never seemed to truly sleep: perpetual motion, perpetual noise, as though it held a life of its own.  Now some of that life had been extinguished, and while it would eventually revive, she couldn't help the sense that something was amiss, even if she knew that the same feeling would dissolve as soon as the electricity was restored, too.

Sloshing wine into a simple crystal goblet, Valerie started to set the bottle down but thought better of it, carrying both it and her glass with her on her return trip to the living room.

"Makes me want to go for a run," Evan commented.

She shot him an incredulous glance as she wandered toward the thick white rug arranged before the fireplace.  It hadn't taken him long to build up a healthy fire, and it seemed like the safest place to be at the moment.  "You'll be struck by lightning," she warned.

Evan chuckled and stepped away from the doors.  "What's the matter, V?" he asked, flopping on the rug beside her, propping himself up on his elbows as he turned his probing gaze on her.

She forced a tight little smile and shrugged.  "Nothing," she lied, lifting the goblet to her lips.

"Hmm . . ."

She took her time setting the glass on the edge of the raised hearth and wrapped her hands over her ankles, resting her cheek on her raised knees.  "I just don't like storms," she admitted almost defensively.

Rolling onto his side, he stared at her, his dark blue eyes seemingly fathomless in the wan light.  "I thought you were fearless," he said, his voice little more than a soft rumble that somehow seemed to merge with the thunder outside.

She shivered, though this time, it had nothing at all to do with the weather.  "What do you fear, Evan?"

Her question seemed to catch him off guard, and he pressed his lips together as he pondered his answer.  "Sitting still," he finally said in an entirely thoughtful sort of way that was completely unlike his normally upbeat tone.  "Letting life pass me by and doing nothing about it."

Smiling wryly, she shook her head.  "And that's a problem for you?"

The cocky grin that she knew better resurfaced.  "Not really," he said.

Her smile widened slightly for a moment then disappeared just as quickly as it had surfaced.  "Is that my earring?" she asked suddenly, narrowing her eyes as she stared at the jewelry in question: the small diamond stud that caught the faint flicker of firelight.

His grin widened, too, but it didn't falter.  "Oh, yeah.  I found it under the piano."

She opened her mouth to ask for it back, but snapped it closed again.  He was wearing it in his nose, and to be completely honest, she wasn't entirely sure that she wanted it back, after all . . . "Gross . . . why do you have it stuck in your nose?" she complained.

"What?  You don't like it?" he countered, flaring his nostrils a few times and crossing his eyes as he tried to look at it.

She made a face and shook her head, trying not to laugh at the comical display.  "Jerk . . . I'll have you know, I bought that set as a present when I passed the bar exam."

"You want it back?" he asked, moments before he jammed his index finger up his nose.

Valerie rolled her eyes and stretched forward to nab the glass of wine.  "God, no," she assured him then heaved a sigh.  "You're such a dork."

"You've got bigger diamond earrings," he pointed out reasonably.  "I've seen 'em."

"Yeah, but those were the first ones I ever bought myself," she insisted.  "I bought them when I first got my ears pierced.  I splurged on them."

"No sweat, baby.  I'll buy you another pair.  Hell, I'll buy you whatever you want just as soon as you marry me."

"Forget it, pal," she shot back saucily, sloshing more wine into her glass.  "Besides, you're supposed to buy the gifts before you get married.  That way, the woman knows you're serious—which you aren't."

"How do you know I'm not?" he challenged.  "I'm being ass serious!"

"Ass serious?  What the hell is that?" she shot back, setting the glass down to stare at him instead.

Evan chuckled.  "It means that I—Ow-w-w-w!"

Valerie rolled her eyes and yanked on the ear she'd latched onto, dragging Evan closer so she could examine the row of earrings studding the appendage.

"What the fuck are you doing, woman?" he growled.  The effect was ruined a moment later when he chuckled.

"Hmmm, is this one real?" she asked, tapping on a diamond stud that was slightly larger than the one of hers that he'd stuck in his nose.

He grimaced and reached up to feel the earring in question.  "Nope.  It's a fake."

Valerie snorted.  "You've got more money than you know what to do with.  Why are you wearing a fake diamond?"

"This old gypsy woman gave it to me," he said simply.  "I was on tour in Belgium, and I slipped out of the hotel to wander around.  Ever see Antwerp at night?  Awesome . . ."

"And you accosted an old gypsy woman for her earring?"

He laughed.  "Nah.  She said she was one of the last of her kind, a true traveling gypsy.  She told my fortune, offered me her daughter . . . and gave me that earring."

"Offered you her daughter?"

The laughter turned a bit lecherous.  "You ever see a gypsy girl dance?"

"If she had a daughter, then she wasn't the last of her kind."

Evan grinned.  "Well, her daughter was the result of a one night fling with some Dutch businessman.  To be a true gypsy, you have to be pure Romani, you know."

"Hmm, so why didn't you take the daughter she offered?"

Evan's grin widened.  "Well, she was jail-bait, for starters.  I think she might have been fifteen . . . maybe.  For another, Deet said that she was bad luck . . . Then again, we were pretty fucked up that night.  It's hard to say what happened, come to think of it . . ."

Valerie blinked and shook her head.  "Bad luck?  Why?"

"Because chicks equal trouble."

Valerie rolled her eyes and continued her perusal of his earrings.  "This one . . . is it platinum or silver?"

"Platinum," he said.

"And have you stuck it up your nose, too?"

He shot her a wink and a grin.  "Nope.  Just my nipple."

"Good enough."

"Ow-w-w-w!" he whined when she jerked the earring free without bothering to work the back off first.  "Damn, you're cruel, Val."

She snorted at the obnoxious way he'd said the normal shortened form of her name.  "Suck it up, Roka.  You take my earring, I get one of yours.  It's fair."

"Yeah, but you didn't have to rip my ear off, too," he complained, rubbing his ear in a mock display of pouting.  "You want the one I have in my dick?"

"Of course not!  As if I'd want—" Cutting herself off abruptly, she stopped and turned to stare at him in something akin to horrified fascination.  "You've got one stuck through your penis?"

That grin of his was back in spades.  "Yup.  Wanna see?"

"No!" she insisted.  "Why would you do that?  Didn't it hurt?"

"Surprisingly, it didn't hurt nearly as much as you might think.  'Course, I was pretty drunk at the time, but hell . . . women love it."

She snorted.

Flopping over onto his back, he slipped his hands behind his neck and grinned up at her.  "They like to flick it with their tongues and shit . . . and they love how it feels when I'm fucking them."

She was blushing.  She could feel it.  She also couldn't help it, which just figured.

"Relax, V.  All my women are in my past: ancient history, right?"

There was a certain amount of teasing in his tone.  The lazy glow in his eyes said something entirely different, though.  As though he wanted her to believe him . . . as though he were trying to get her to understand . . . and for a moment—just for a moment . . .

Averting her gaze, she swallowed hard, deliberately ignoring those things that she thought she'd seen the moment before.  "See?  You are insane.  I knew you were.  You and all your women.  All y'all are insane . . ."

Evan's eyebrows shot up, and he reached up to push her hair out of her face.  "All y'all?  Did you just say, 'all y'all'?"

She blinked and shook her head, her mind more than a little fuzzy, though she stubbornly refused to ask herself why that was.  It had to have been because of the liquor.  It certainly wasn't because he'd completely disconcerted her . . . "So?" she challenged, summoning more bravado than she was actually feeling.

"You're from the south?"

She couldn't help the startled glance she shot him.  "Does it matter?"

His smile—there was an underlying tenderness in it that she wanted to ignore—brightened, and he let his hand fall away again.  "Not really.  It's just funny.  You don't strike me as a southern girl."

"There's nothing wrong with it," she said defensively.  "And I'm not from the south, per se.  I just happen to have been born in Kentucky."

"Didn't say there was," Evan agreed easily enough.  "So, you were serious about the whole Kentucky thing?"

She rolled her eyes.  "Of course I was," she informed him haughtily.

His lips twitched.  "And the inbred-thing?"

That earned him a droll stare.  "Shut up, Roka."

He chuckled.  "It's a shame, though."

The look she shot him was entirely suspect.  "Why?"

All traces of tenderness faded from his smile, and he chuckled.  "Because it'd be hot as hell if you had that southern drawl, don't you think?"

Valerie's mouth dropped open for a moment as more color washed into her cheeks.  Snorting indelicately, she shot to her feet and snatched up the wine glass to take back to the kitchen.

His laughter lingered after her as she stomped out of the room.  Once she reached the kitchen, though, she heaved a sigh and shook her head.  Why didn't it surprise her that he'd say something like that?  He was twisted, entirely twisted, and she knew that, too, didn't she?  That he would find something as hokey and ridiculous as a southern drawl sexy?  Shaking her head, she made a face as she rinsed the glass and set it in the sink.  'Incorrigible . . .' she told herself, reaching for the small towel on the counter.  'Completely nuts . . .'

So why was she smiling?

She shook her head and folded the towel after drying her hands.  Incorrigible or not, completely nuts or not, at least he had an interesting way of looking at things, even if those were also the very reasons why she knew deep down that his world was just a little too different from hers.

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Torn' by Natalie Imbruglia was recorded and appeared on her 1997 release, Left of the Middle.  Song written by and copyrighted to Scott Cutler, Anne Previn, and Phil Thornalley.  Song was first recorded by Ednaswap.
'I Touch Myself' by the Divinyls first appeared on their 1990 self-titled album.  Song written by and copyrighted to Christina Amphlett, Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg, and Mark McEntee.
== == == == == == == == == ==
theblackthorn ----- oblivion-bringr ------ malitiadixie ------ Inusbabe ------ Sesshomaru4Kagura4ever ------ OROsan0677 ------ Sovereignty ------ Diem ------ Dark Inuu Fan ------ Meru ------ Titiana ------- WhisperingWolf ------ iloveanimecartoons ------- puppypal27 ------ lilswtheart9811 (Your reviews were deleted.  They had nothing at all to do with Subterfuge.  If you wish to comment on a story, please do so in that story's reviews.)
Thought from Valerie:
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.