InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Overreaction ( Chapter 65 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Sixty-Five~~
~Overreaction~


- OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Never insecure until I met you; now I'm bein' stupid
'I used to be so cute to me, just a little bit skinny
'Why do I look to all these things?  To keep you happy
'Maybe get rid of you, and then I'll get back to me, hey …'

-'Unpretty' by TLC.

-Evan-


"Have I told you just how nice it is to spend the day with you, Evvie?"

Settling back against the side of the hot tub with a cold bottle of beer, Evan grinned at his sister.  "Yeah, a few times," he told her.  "It's okay, though.  I didn't really have anything planned today . . ."

Which wasn't entirely true.  He was supposed to sit through another round of bass auditions, but after having talked to Valerie the night before, he was positive that he simply couldn't do it, and he'd called Mike early this morning to tell him that he trusted the band to choose someone to fill in, at least for the mini-tour.  For his part, Mike had seemed quite relieved, and Evan supposed that he couldn't really blame his manager for that.

So he had just finished meditating and was trying to decide how not to get into trouble for the day when Jillian had showed up on his doorstep with a bright smile and a huge bouquet of red and orange flowers.  It seemed that Gavin was out of town on a business trip for the last couple days at some boring old stockbroker conference, and he'd mentioned that there was a video game convention there over the weekend, so she'd told him that he should stay and go to said-convention, which gave her plenty of time to catch up with family since she and Gavin had just gotten back after spending the last couple of months at their ranch in Montana.  He'd be flying in later on tonight, so he said that he'd just pick her up at Evan's house when he got back into the city.

"Well, you know, I'm sorry I didn't call sooner," Jillian Zelig Jamison apologized with a guilty pout.  "I was planning on staying with Daddy and Mama, but, well, things are just so strange up there . . ."

"Strange?  How so?" Evan asked.

Jillian shrugged and shook her head, eyeing the sky, probably trying to decide whether she ought to put sun block on or not.  She must have decided that she didn't need it, but she did lean halfway out of the hot tub to root around her bag for a rubber band to hold her hair back. "Because Mama's still staying with Bassie—didn't you know?"

"Still?" he echoed, pushing himself to his feet and grasping Jillian to turn her around so that he could help her braid her hair.  "You mean she's still mad at ol' Cain?"

Leaning on her elbows, Jillian nodded and waited patiently as Evan gently divided her hair and started to plait it.  "And she bursts into tears if you mention Daddy's name, so I didn't bug her, you know?"  She sighed, her back sagging between her shoulder blades in a completely defeated gesture.  "Bassie said that he hasn't gotten anything out of Daddy, either, but you know?  Daddy's gotten to be a real grouch, too . . . Bassie said that he thinks it's because Mama refuses to go home with him.  I think he just needs a nice, big cake."

"He needs a nice, big something," Evan muttered.  It didn't really make any sense to him.  After all, his parents never fought—never—not even when they had disagreements before.  The whole situation was a little weird, if you asked him . . .

"Anyway, Mama said that she's fine, even though I know she's not, and Daddy just kind of kept muttering under his breath—I didn't really catch what he was saying, though . . . So, I thought it'd be better if I drove back to the city and spent the day with you instead."

Reaching over her shoulder to take the rubber band away from Jillian before she snapped herself with it or cut off the circulation to her fingers since she'd been wrapping it around and around since she'd started chattering, Evan quickly fastened the end of the long braid and settled back in the hot tub with a sigh.  "I'll give her a call later," he said.

"Oh, don't!" Jillian insisted, pulling a small compact out of her bag to inspect his handiwork.  "Mama told me not to tell you anything at all, you see?  She's afraid that you'll cancel your tour because you're worried about her, she said."

Letting out a deep breath, Evan slowly shook his head.  That figured.  Gin would be the first one to hide something from him if she thought that it'd interfere with his plans.  She was more important to him by far, but . . . but if he did cancel or postpone even one show because of her, she'd feel guilty, and he knew that, too.  "All right," he agreed slowly.  He didn't like it, but what else could he possibly do?

"Don't worry, Evvie.  They'll work things out; you'll see.  They love each other too much not to, right?"

He stared at Jillian for a long moment—long enough to see the hint of worry in the depths of her gaze, the slight strain around her eyes, and he forced a smile.  He'd thought originally that they'd had a disagreement over Violca, but maybe that wasn't the case at all.  If they still weren't talking, then it had to be something bigger than that, anyway . . . "Yeah, you're right," he agreed, mostly to pacify and hopefully reassure her.  "Knowing Cain, he probably said something craptastic about the old man that upset Mama . . ."

"That's possible," Jillian slowly allowed.  "I hadn't thought of that . . ."

"It'll be one of those stupid things that they'll sit around and laugh about later," he predicted.  The more he thought about it, the more it made sense.  The only real bone of contention between his parents was Gin's parents—Evan's grandparents—or more to the point, her father, the hanyou of legend, InuYasha.  InuYasha and Cain had never quite seen eye to eye, after all . . .

Apparently satisfied with Evan's explanation, Jillian finally smiled then rolled her eyes and wrinkled her nose as she scooted in close and grabbed a handful of Evan's currently-orange hair.  "This color is awful," she stated flatly.  "I mean, you kind of look like that scary clown guy . . . What's his name . . .?"

Evan scratched his head and frowned as he thought about Jillian's question.  Then he snapped his fingers and grinned.  "Oh, you mean Lothor the Killer Clown?"

Jillian blinked in a rather blank way.  "Lothor?  Who's that?"

He sighed and shook his head but chuckled.  "You know, the clown from that movie, Clown School?  The one who murdered everyone with the poisoned clown makeup?"

Rolling her eyes again but giggling just the same, Jillian fluttered a hand to dismiss Evan's statement.  "No, silly!  That clown . . . what's his name?  Oh, yes!  Bozo!"

Evan snorted.  "You don't think Lothor the Killer Clown was scary, but you're afraid of Bozo?"

Jillian rolled her eyes and laughed.  "I don't watch movies like that!  Gavvie says that they'll give me nightmares!"

Evan grinned and pulled Jillian against his side, slinging an arm over her shoulder as he drained half of his beer. "That's only because Gavin would sit there the whole time, picking at the plot and dissecting the police investigation and all that."

Jillian giggled and snuggled closer against her brother.  "He would, wouldn't he?"

Evan nodded and set the bottle aside so that he could tap the tip of Jillian's nose.  Her eyes crossed as she watched his finger, and he chuckled.  "Yes, he would.  That's why he sucks at RPGs . . . he spends too much time fuming over plot inconsistencies to play the damn game."

"But he kicked your ass at Death Valley Drag Racing," she reminded him.

Evan snorted though his grin remained in place.  "That's only because you bought it for him the day it was released."

"I did, didn't I?" she giggled.

"That's okay, Jilli.  I've got a plan for the next tournament—and you're going to help me."

"I am?"

He nodded.  "Oh, yeah . . ."

"I love being a part of the plotting!" Jillian decided, wiggling her shoulders in anticipation.  "What'll I get to do?"

Evan chuckled and kissed her forehead.  "It's simple, and you'll love it.  All you've got to do when Gavvie's on one of his damn winning streaks is sit in his lap and wiggle around a little bit."

Jillian's pale blue eyes widened as her mouth rounded in a complete look of wonder.  "Oh, that's a really good plan!" she nearly squealed, clapping her hands happily.  "You can beat him a few times when he drags me off to have his way with me!"

Evan laughed outright at that.  It wasn't exactly what he'd figured, but yeah, that would work, too.  Leave it to Jillian to take it one step further than he had in his head . . .

"Sex and racing . . . Who'd have thought that they'd go together so well?" Jillian gushed.

"It's only because you're just a sex kitten," Evan teased.

"Could I have a word with you, Roka?"

Evan sat up straight and peered over Jillian's head in the direction that the voice had come from.  He'd recognized it right off, of course, just as he'd sensed her presence when she'd stepped outside moments before.  A broad grin spread over his face as he mumbled to Jillian that he'd be right back and climbed out of the hot tub.

"V!" he greeted, stopping long enough to retrieve a towel from the cabinet nearby before heading toward the bristling attorney.

Arms crossed over her chest, tapping her manicured nails in an entirely impatient sort of way, she tapped the toe of the Brinkham leather bootlet—maybe he'd gone shoe shopping one time too many with Madison—as she waited for him to come closer.  Before he could reach her, though, she pivoted on her heel and stomped back inside, giving him no choice but to follow her.  When he glanced back at Jillian, his grin widened.  She was leaning on the side of the hot tub, arms folded on the edge with her chin resting on her forearms and making no bones about watching the unfolding debacle with very avid interest.  Winking at his sister, he pulled the doors closed and waited for Valerie to drop the proverbial gauntlet.

"Mind telling me who that is?" Valerie demanded, making no bones about her meaning when she jerked her head toward the window that overlooked the pool and the hot tub.

"Who?" he asked, adding a few innocent blinks for good measure.

Valerie wasn't buying.  He didn't figure that she would.  "That—That—That—"

He very nearly laughed at the way she kept waving her hand in the general direction of the hot tub.  "Careful, V," he warned slowly, carefully, unable to bury his amusement at the brilliant display of jealousy.  "Remember what happened the last time you said something mean about a woman?  You ended up being my girlfriend for the day . . ." Trailing off after the blatant reminder, Evan scratched his chin thoughtfully.  "On second thought, say what you want, V.  I could use a pretend girlfriend for a week or two . . ."

Valerie snorted, but the seeds of doubt had been well and truly planted.  Staring at him for several moments before shifting her attention out the window, she didn't comment right away, and Evan figured that if he looked closely enough, he might just see the wheels in her mind turning . . . "All right," Valerie said with a ticked-off sigh.  "I'll bite.  Who is she?"

"O-O-O-Oh," Evan drawled, "you mean the girl in the hot tub?"

Her eyes narrowed dangerously, and for a moment, Evan wondered if she'd figured out a way to kill him and hide the evidence.  "Don't play with me, Roka," she warned.

He chuckled and held up his hands.  "Okay, okay, you win," he relented.  "That's JJ."

"JJ?" she repeated, shaking her head.  Apparently the name meant nothing to her—not surprising since no one else actually called Jillian that.  "The woman who had the party the other night?  The one where you were flaunting Violca?"

Nodding slowly, Evan grinned.  "Yep, that's her."

Valerie snorted, her cheeks pinking in irritation.  "You mean your ex-girlfriend.  I've seen pictures of the two of you together.  Isn't she married?  What are you doing?  Trying to break them up?"

"Hell, no," Evan scoffed.  "The only people I want to break up are you and Mickey Mouse."

"Marvin," she growled.

"Yeah, him.  Anyway, you've got it all wrong!  It's not like that!  Jilli and I—"

"You know what?  Save it, Roka!  I don't care who you spend time with as long as you remember that you must be on your best behavior, and—"

"Hey, V?"

"What?" she snapped.

Evan schooled his features. "Remember when I told you that I have a younger sister?"

"Yeah, so?"

Ducking his chin, Evan leveled a steady look at her.  "So-o-o-o . . ." he prompted.

Valerie snorted and threw her hands up at her sides in a completely exasperated sort of way.  "Listen, rocker-boy, I don't have time to humor you and your—" Cutting herself off abruptly as his words started to sink in, her eyes flared wide as she swung around to face him, as even more color exploded under her skin.  "She's your sister?" she blurted before she could stop herself.

"Now don't you feel she-e-e-eepish?" he asked, bleating like a sheep to draw out the last word.

She was going to hit him.  That was the thought that registered in his mind mere seconds before Valerie thumped her fists against his chest.  "You're such a jerk!" she bellowed.  "I hate you!"

He couldn't contain his amusement, and trying to do so was just making it that much worse, and the more Valerie pounded, the harder he laughed, which only served to irritate her more, which manifested itself in even more pounding and even more laughter . . .

"Oh . . . Am I interrupting something?" Jillian asked as she stepped into the living room from the back hallway that led to the cabana rooms.  She was fully dressed with her bag slung casually over her shoulder and a friendly smile on her pretty face.

"No," Evan choked out, vision blurring as tears pooled in his eyes.

Valerie jerked away from him like a scalded dog, her already flushed face now a crimson hue that looked almost painful.  Drawing herself upright with as much dignity as she could muster, she nodded once at Jillian and studiously avoided Evan's amused gaze.

Clearing his throat as his humor finally died down, Evan wiped his eyes and tried to school his features.  It didn't work.  "Jilli, this is my attorney, Valerie Denning.  V, this is my little sister, Jillian Jamison."

"Pleased to meet you," Jillian said, extending a hand toward Valerie.  The attorney accepted the gesture, albeit looking a little less than comfortable.  If Jillian noticed, though, she didn't remark upon it.  "Evvie, I'm sorry, but I've got to run."

"But you said you were going to spend the day with me!" he complained.

Jillian giggled and leaned up to kiss him on the cheek.  "Gavvie called to tell me that he got an earlier flight, so I'm going to go pick him up, and as much as I love you, you just can't compare to him . . ."

"Aw, I guess," he muttered.

"Anyway, I'd love to stick around and watch the rest of your slap-fest, but I'd much rather spend the rest of the day in bed with my mate.  Ciao!"

Evan chuckled as he watched Jillian's jaunty departure.  Valerie just stared after Jillian with a rather confused expression on her face.

"I've seen her before," Valerie remarked after the sound of the closing front door drifted back to them.

"Well, yeah . . . You said you've seen her in pictures with me," he reminded her.

"Mm-mm," she intoned, shaking her head slowly.  "I've seen her somewhere else . . ."

Making a face since the cut off jeans he was wearing were growing more and more uncomfortable by the second, Evan started to unfasten them—until he intercepted the narrow-eyed glower that Valerie was directing at him.  "All right, you win," he grumbled, heading toward the stairs so that he could change his pants without Valerie having a fit—or worse, deciding that she was going to leave.

He made quick work of changing, grabbing the first pair of pants that he laid hands on: a pair of black hakama that he normally wore when he was training.  Nothing beat them for comfort, though, and he ran out of his room as he cinched the ties at his waist.

Valerie's expression was much the same when he finally reached the living room again.  She still looked like she was trying to figure something out, but when she glanced at him, she did a double take as her eyebrows shot up in question.  "You're wearing a skirt," she stated flatly and without looking away from the hakama.

"It's not a skirt, woman," he shot back with a grin.  "They're called 'hakama'—and if I were to wear a skirt, I think I'd look better in a micro-mini, don't you?"

"Hakama," she repeated.  "Whatever you call them, they look like the bottom half of one of those old fashioned things women wore—a riding habit—and your knees are entirely too knobby to look good in a micro-mini, Roka."

Evan rolled his eyes as he finished tying the hakama.  "In your dreams, V!  I'll have you know that my grandparents sent these to me, and you really shouldn't make fun of a gift, you know.  That aside, I can't believe you said that!  I mean, don't get me wrong, you do have nice legs—damn nice legs, so you don't have to be jealous of my sexy knees."

"There's nothing at all sexy about bony, pointy, chicken knees," she shot back.  "Now tell me where I've seen your sister before!"

Evan blinked at the abrupt change of topics then grinned since he knew damn well that Valerie was very likely to spend the entire day obsessing over exactly where she might or might not have seen Jillian before if he didn't answer her.  "Jilli's a model," he told her with a grin.  "At least, she used to be.  She doesn't do it much anymore."

Valerie's eyes widened.  "That's right!  She was the spokesmodel for Travion Cosmetics a few years ago, right?"

"Yeah, I think so," he agreed.  "She also did some swimsuit layouts and a number of ads for Han Sigures . . ."

"Uh huh."

Picking up the stack of mail that Bone had brought in earlier, Evan frowned as he sorted through it.  "Then she did some work for PITA and a couple other nonprofits, too."

"Uh huh."

It never ceased to amaze him, just how many pieces of junk mail he got when no one else was supposed to have his address.  Dropping a few more envelopes into the trash, he shook his head.  "When we were little, everyone thought we were twins."

"Uh huh."

Evan blinked and turned his head to eye Valerie, only to blink in surprise when he noticed that she was staring rather intently at him—and she wasn't blinking at all.  "Uh, V?" he asked tentatively.

She didn't respond.  Evan frowned and glanced down to see if he could figure out why she was staring.  It all looked normal to him, but judging from the direction her eyes were trained, she must have been staring at the gaping sides of the hakama near the waist.  Normally he wore something underneath since they kind of hung open, but he was in such a hurry to get back downstairs to Valerie that he hadn't bothered to mess with that today.  "V?"

"Hm?"

"You want me to pose?"

That question did the trick.  Blinking rapidly, her face darkening in color once more, she uttered a high pitched, nervous laugh   "Don't be stupid," she scoffed.  Abruptly, she headed for the kitchen, only to return a minute later with a half-empty bottle of water in one hand and the plastic cap in the other.  "Anyway, how's your cheek?"

He frowned and had to pause for a moment to figure out why she was asking him something like that.  "Oh, that . . ." he said when it finally occurred to him that she was probably talking about the scrape he'd gotten when Mike had decided to be completely ass-tastic the day before.  "It's fine."

She frowned at him like she was trying to decide whether or not she believed him.

"You could check it if you want . . . just come over here and slide your tongue into my mouth, baby."

Snorting indelicately, she shook her head, her cheeks exploding in a pretty flush.  "Jerk," she muttered.  It did the trick though.  She dropped the current subject, which was just as well.

Evan sighed.  As much as he'd love to tease Valerie longer, he'd rather make sure that she didn't disappear on him again.  "So, dare I hope that you came by because you missed me?" he quipped instead.

Valerie shook her head and took a very small sip of water.  "Miss you like I miss having braces," she shot back smoothly.  "I just wanted to know what all I need to pack for this mini-tour of yours."

The question was surprising in a way, yet wholly expected, too.  Valerie was one of those people who seemed to thrive on planning, so he should have thought about that.  Evan, though, never really thought about that kind of thing till the last second, and so his traveling gear didn't really account for much.  Besides, if he forgot something, there were always more than enough bodies around to send someone out to get whatever he'd missed.  "Just bring whatever you want, V," he replied with a nonchalant shrug.  "Clothes . . . Girly stuff . . . Whatever you think you need, but don't stress out over it.  If you forget something, we'll just pick it up on the way."

"You know, Roka, we need to talk about this habit of yours of just buying things without even batting an eye," she pointed out.  "Just because you have more money than God doesn't mean that you should be out spending it all the time."

He almost laughed at her—almost.  "I don't spend money all the time," he argued.  "I mean, I'd hardly call a five dollar kaleidoscope and a couple hot dogs a lot."

"Whatever, whatever!  You know what I mean," she accused, setting the now-empty water bottle on a nearby table and peering down at herself to make sure she didn't dribble water, he supposed.  "I've seen you leave more money as a tip than you spent on an entire meal, which is saying a lot, pig that you are.  Everything in your house was custom made, wasn't it?  I don't even want to know how much you spent on all of that . . ." Trailing off for a moment as a rather strange sort of expression crossed her features, Valerie shook her head and shot him a quick glance.  "Well, I do want to know how much your bed cost," she admitted at length.

Evan chuckled.  "You like that, do you?" he teased.  "I don't remember off the top of my head," he said, which was a lie.  He did remember, mostly because he rarely forgot anything.

"Ballpark," she replied.

Rolling his eyes, he stretched his arms over his head and leaned back.  "A lot," he hedged.  "Why?  Want to buy one?  You don't have to, you know.  Just move in with me, and you can use mine any time you want."

"Cute, Roka," she muttered.  "I don't want your tacky bed.  I'd rather just get one of my own."

"You sure?"

She sighed and shook her head in a completely melodramatic kind of way.  "Positive."

He chuckled and turned his attention back to the rest of the mail that he hadn't gone through yet.  Valerie walked over, peeked around his arm, nabbing the unopened envelope out of his fingers before he could drop it into the trash.  "You get invitations to the Black and White Ball?" she blurted as she ripped it open.

"Yeah, though I can't say that I've actually gone to one of them.  Normally, I'm out on the road—and I will be this year, too."

Staring at the elegant invitation, she slowly shook her head again.  "What's it like to be you?" she murmured.  She hadn't really asked him that, and he knew it.  He figured that everyone wondered that at some point.  There were times when he was walking down the street, surrounded by bodyguards when the mayhem was wild when he'd spot someone walking along without a care in the world, and he'd wondered, too, just what it would have been like if no one had heard of Zel Roka.  He supposed that was normal, wasn't it?

"I'll take you next year," he suddenly promised.

Valerie blinked and looked up from the invitation, and for a moment, she seemed surprised.  That surprise, however, was quickly masked, hidden behind a perfunctory smile.  "Sure, you will," she said.  "By this time next year, you'll have forgotten all about me—or you'll be sitting in prison being someone's bitch."

He laughed and dropped the rest of the mail in the trash since he doubted that any of it was worth reading, anyway.  "Sorry, baby.  I'm allergic to penises that aren't mine."

She snorted loudly and flipped the invitation over, giving it one last, long look before dropping it into the trash, too.  "Oh, yeah," she suddenly said, brushing her hands together as though to dismiss her moment of awe.  "I heard your new song on the radio on the way over here.  I thought you weren't going to release it . . . I mean, it sounded good—I like the way you remixed it . . . I was just surprised . . ."

"Hmm?" he intoned, cocking his head to the side, staring at her with a quizzical expression on his face.  "'V'?"

"What?"

He shook his head, grabbing a glass that he'd used earlier for orange juice off the stand to take it back to the kitchen.  "No, the song—'V' . . . They edited the hell out of it, didn't they?  Damn, I hate it when they do that . . ."

"Edited?" she echoed, her expression blanking in confusion.  "'V'?  No . . . it was that other one—the one you wrote for Dieter . . . 'Piece of You' . . ."

He hadn't heard her right.  He couldn't have heard her right.  As though time suddenly froze, as though everything had been sucked into a vacuum, everything including the sound of Valerie's voice was sucked away into a dull roar.   ". . . The one you wrote for Dieter . . . 'Piece of You' . . . 'Piece of You' . . . for Dieter . . ."

He didn't feel the glass in his hand crack, didn't feel the heat of his own blood flowing from the gash in the palm of his hand as it spiraled around his wrist, down his arm, didn't hear Valerie's scream when the blood dripped onto the floor.  He didn't feel anything, hear anything, comprehend anything—anything at all—as a rage so powerful, so consuming exploded out of his control, surging forth in an ugly emotion, and something deep inside him snapped.

Lashing out at whatever was closest—the sound of shattering glass adding to the din in his head, splintering wood, crumbling plaster . . . everything, everything—and nothing at all . . . The blackest rage that had built up inside him snapped as sense and sensibility was shoved aside in favor of action, emotion, anger.  He wanted to destroy, to hurt something, to hurt himself, to feel the pain that ran rampant inside him.  The ugly explosion of uncontrollable ire boiled over and roiled through him, the visceral howl surrounding him in a mask of destruction, the tumult of the wind and the earth and the things that he simply could not control . . .

And suddenly, he felt it—arms?  A strange dampness on his chest, the wild hammering of a beating heart . . . Blinking slowly as the howling in his head subsided, Evan blinked and frowned.

"Stop it," Valerie whispered, half-pleading, half-crying.  "Evan, stop . . ." Silent sobs wracking her body as she clung to him, terrified of the outburst of his temper, of the things she'd seen in those moments . . .

Terrified of him . . .


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A/N:
'Unpretty' by TLC first appeared on their 1999 release, Fanmail.  Song written by and copyrighted to Dallas Austin and Tionne Watkins.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
What the hell did they do …?
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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 64
Chapter 66
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