InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ The Five Letter Word ( Chapter 71 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Seventy-One~~
~The Five Letter Word~


-OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'< i>Remember when you ran away …
'And I got on my knees and begged you not to leave
'Because I'd go berserk?
'Well!  You left me anyhow and then
'The days got worse and worse
'And now you see I've gone completely out of my mind …'

-'They're Coming to Take Me Away' by Napoleon XIV.

-Evan-


Evan blinked when the checker board went flying across the room, scattering little red and black missiles through the air as Valerie sat back in her chair, heel resting on the seat, knee drawn up to her chest, staring innocently at her upturned nails.

"You're kind of a sore loser," he pointed out mildly, leaning back in his chair and stretching his arms over his head.

"Blame it on Lars," she said, jerking her head toward the closed door and the driver beyond.  "He hit a bump."

"Of course he did," Evan allowed with a husky chuckle.  Three games into the checker tournament that Valerie had suggested after the tenth time that he'd told her that he was bored since they'd boarded the bus after the show, and Valerie had apparently had enough.  She was down to one king that was backed into a corner while he had five kings that were closing in fast.  He wasn't actually trying to win, but . . .

"He did," she insisted without as much as batting an eyelash.  "I think he might have done it on purpose, too."

"I'm sure he did," Evan agreed, the humoring tone on his voice so thick it could have been cut with a cleaver.  "Don't worry, V.  I know where all the pieces were on the board."

Wrinkling her nose, Valerie flipped her hand over to inspect her nails from the other side.  "That's okay," she replied airily.  "You would've lost, anyway."

He chuckled since they both knew that the odds of that happening were slim and none.  "Damn . . . I'm so bor—"

Hazel eyes flashing to meet his without blinking, Valerie cocked an eyebrow.  "Finish that word and die, Roka," she said.

He grinned wolfishly and got up, wandering over to the refrigerator to rummage around for the half of a foot long double meat Italian sub that he'd ordered just after sound-check but hadn't had time to finish before the show.  "But I am," he pointed out reasonably enough.  "You know, usually after a show, the guys would have this bus full of girls that they'd picked out for me, and—"

Cutting himself off abruptly when Valerie's shoe smacked into his ass, Evan craned his neck to grin over his shoulder at her, wiggling his butt in a wholly exaggerated way.  "Well, baby, if you really want to play with my ass . . ."

She wasn't impressed, and the other shoe quickly followed suit. "You're all ass, baby," she shot back.

Evan blinked and broke into a huge grin that he quickly hid in the sanctity of the refrigerator.  Sarcastically or not, he kind of liked hearing her call him 'baby', didn't he?

'Damn . . . her voice is smooth as butter . . .'

'Hell, yeah . . .'

'Think we can get her to fuck us?'

Evan heaved a sigh and grabbed the sandwich and a beer with the same hand before closing the refrigerator.  'Not likely . . . unfortunately . . .'

His youkai sighed, too.

"You're plotting something over there; I know it," Valerie stated as he turned around and started back toward the table.

"Who?  Me?"

She narrowed her eyes.  "Now I'm sure of it," she muttered.  "Spill your guts, Roka.  I'm on to you."

"Naw," he said as he dropped into the chair across from her and started to unwrap the sandwich, "but I wish you were."

"Were what?" she asked, blinking in a rather blank way.

"On to me," he replied, sparing a moment to give her a lecherous grin and wink before stuffing the sandwich into his mouth.  "Do you have any idea just how badly I want to fuck the living, breathing hell out of you?"

Eyes flaring wide, pretty blush exploding under the surface of her skin, she blinked and for a moment, she could only stare at him.  Cheeks blossoming in even darker color, she recovered quickly enough, sorting indelicately as she flicked a hand as though to wave away his outrageous statement.  "Y-You're so gross," she muttered, leaning across the table and snatching a hunk of bread off the end of the bun.

Carefully ripping the sandwich in half, he handed her the part she'd attacked and slumped back in his chair.  "Aw, come on, V . . . You can't seriously tell me that sex with good ol' Manastecles actually makes you come."

"My sex life with Marvin is none of your business, Roka," she stated haughtily.  He figured that if looks could kill, he'd be six feet under—possibly further . . . maybe more like six . . . hundred . . .

"Yeah, yeah.  Best two minutes of your life, right?" he countered.  Why was it that he just couldn't leave well enough alone . . .? Well, it might have had something to do with the absolutely adorable way she pursed her lips just before she handed him his ass or maybe it was the way her eyes ignited when her passion rose.  Angry, maybe, but Evan knew—just knew—that the luminance in her gaze would be the same whether she was glaring at him or egging him on in bed . . . Besides, where was she going to go?  She was trapped on the bus with him via court order whether she liked it or not.

"You know, there's more to life than just sex," she huffed, shaking her head as she methodically picked the salami off the sandwich he'd handed her.  "I feel a little sorry for you if that's all you care about."

Chuckling softly at her attempt to take the moral high ground, Evan shook his head and reached for the meat she was removing.  "Of course there's more," he allowed with a careless shrug.  Tipping his head back, he stuffed the salami into his mouth.  "Never said there wasn't, but there's got to be something, doesn't there?  We're talking about the bastard you're going to spend the rest of your life with, right?   Let's face it: Maynard's not winning any awards in the personality department, so the least he can do is get you off."

Shaking her head, Valerie took her time chewing a bite of the parts of her sandwich that she hadn't discarded.  "For your information, Roka, all that is just a myth."

"All what is?"

She rolled her eyes as though she thought that he was being obtuse for the hell of it.  "Orgasms—at least, when it comes to women."

"A myth?" he repeated, shaking his head.  "What kind of myth are we talking about here?"

Heaving a sigh—he was positive now that she really did think that he was only pretending not to understand her—she shot him a droll look before uncurling her leg and wandering over to the refrigerator.  "Women don't orgasm," she finally said, her voice muffled by the appliance.  "It's just something that we pretend to do so that men like you don't end up with bruised egos."

Evan laughed.  He couldn't help it.  In fact, he almost fell off his chair, he was laughing so hard.  He laughed so hard that his stomach started to ache, and when he didn't stop laughing, he grunted between guffaws when Valerie stomped over and shoved him off his chair.

"And who the hell told you that bunch of bullshit?" Evan gasped out as he sat up slowly and wiped his watering eyes.

Valerie snorted indelicately and shook her head, draining half a beer in one long gulp.  "It's a known fact, you moron," she countered.  "Of course, you wouldn't believe me.  You're a guy, after all . . ."

Somehow, he managed to rein in his amusement—barely.  Schooling his features, he shot her an innocent smile and climbed back into his chair again.  "V, honey girl, I've got to tell you you're wrong.  Women come.  In fact, they come more often than men do and they come harder than men do, too.  I'm kind of jealous, but that's beside the point.  I swear to God that once Maddy came for half an hour, straight: no lie."

"You're so full of shit you stink, Roka," she muttered, rolling her eyes as she sucked down the rest of the beer.

Slapping his hand down on the table, Evan grinned, which earned him the legendary narrowing of the eyes.  "Tell you what.  Because we're such good friends, I'll help you out.  After all, I'd feel damn bad if you married that little weenie and condemned yourself to a lifetime of unfulfilling sex."

"I am not sleeping with you," she gritted out from between clenched teeth.

Evan wondered if she was going to permanently injure herself if she got any redder but didn't remark upon it.  He'd used the phrase, 'blew an ass gasket' a number of times in his life, but he had to think that Valerie was probably closer to doing it for real than anyone else he'd ever seen.  "That's not what I was going to suggest, but if you want to—"

"I don't."

He laughed at her clipped tone.  "Settle down, settle down . . . Geez, Val, you're going to hurt yourself if you get any more worked up than you already are."

She glanced around, probably for something to brain him with but otherwise ignored his statement.

"Why don't you give me ol' Darwin's phone number?  I'd be happy to give him a call and school him on exactly what to do to make sure that you're screaming like a ten dollar whore in bed."

She grabbed his acoustic guitar and held it by the neck like a baseball bat.

"Okay, okay!  Man, you're touchy . . ." he grouched, holding up his hands to keep her from bringing down the wrath of V on his beloved guitar.

Satisfied that she'd curbed his offers, at least for the moment, she lowered the guitar and planted her hands on her hips, glaring at him with a bright red face and looking for all the world like she was trying to decide if she could get away with eating his spleen or something.  "I told you once, Evan: what Marvin and I do or don't do is really none of your business."

Evan nodded then shrugged, knowing damn well that he really ought to leave well enough alone.  He knew it, of course, but . . . "Yeah, sure.  Just one last question?"

"Evan . . ." she began in a warning tone.

"Is it one of those teenage gropes at night?  Make sure all the lights are off, hidden all nice and clean under the covers?  A minute or two of clumsy fondling while you count the number of cars that pass by the headlights that move across your ceiling?"

She stared at him, her expression impassive.  If it weren't for the slight flicker behind her eyes, he might have thought that he had actually been completely off base.  Too bad he saw it and recognized it, though he really should give her props.  He'd almost believed her—almost.

"So when he sticks his pecker in you, you shift around a little, not because it feels good but because he's just not that great at finding the target, right?  But he thinks it means that you like it . . . and you lay there for a couple minutes while he grunts and wiggles, and then he chokes a little, his body goes all tense and he's done.  Then he rolls over and goes to sleep, and you get to feel like you did your duty, and all the while you're wondering if that's really how it's supposed to be."

"You're such a jerk, Evan," Valerie said quietly as she dropped the empty bottle into the wooden crate beside the refrigerator that the beer had been delivered in.  "I don't know why that surprises me.  I thought that maybe you . . ." Trailing off, she suddenly shook her head and strode over to the bed, tossing back the blankets and crawling under them.  "You can sleep on the sofa."

Evan thoughtfully stared at her huddled form for a minute, wondering exactly why it was that he never could just leave well enough alone.  


-Valerie-


"Then he rolls over and goes to sleep, and you get to feel like you did your duty, and all the while you're wondering if that's really how it's supposed to be . . ."

Sighing into the darkness, Valerie flopped over onto her back and tried to ignore the words that just kept running through her head.

Anger had run its course long ago, sometime after Evan had shut off the lights and stretched out on the sofa, leaving her with a sense of confusion that she just couldn't shake, an overwhelming sense of emptiness.  After that, she'd started to wonder exactly why his little scenario had irritated her.  Easy to say it was simply the derogatory assessment, but was it really?

Or maybe . . .

Maybe it was that he was just a little too close to the truth that upset her the most . . .

"V?  You sleeping?"

She didn't answer him.  What would it matter if she did?  He had to know that she was still awake.  Why else would he bother talking?

He heaved a sigh not unlike the one that she'd done a few minutes before.  "About what I said earlier," he mumbled, "sorry about that.  It's just . . . You know . . . A woman like you deserves better than that—way better . . ."

Scowling, Valerie bit her lip, unable to decide what to make of Evan's quiet statement.

He chuckled suddenly, but there wasn't any real humor in it.  If anything, it sounded rather sad.  "Ah, what the hell?  Who am I to talk?  What the fuck do I know about that kind of thing, anyway?"

"Have you ever been in love before, Evan?" she asked quietly.

He didn't answer right away.  She was starting to think that he wasn't going to when he finally did.  "Once," he replied.  "It was a long time ago."

Sitting up, Valerie hooked her hands around her raised knees, staring into the darkness surrounding the sofa.  "Oh?  What happened?"

"I couldn't find her," he said simply.  It must have made perfect sense to him, but it didn't make any sense at all to her.  "Eh, it was a long time ago—nine?  Ten years ago, maybe . . .?"

"What happened?"

He let out a deep breath, and she could hear him sit up, too.  "Nothing really.  I just thought that she might have been the one.  I had her for one night, and when I woke up the next morning, she was gone."

"Just like that?"

"Just like that."

Making a face, Valerie shook her head.  "I asked if you'd ever been in love before, not if you'd had a one night stand.  You've had more than enough of those, haven't you?" she muttered.

"I know what you asked," he corrected.  "There was something about her.  It just felt . . . right."

"That's lust, Evan," she said, strangely disappointed, though she couldn't rightfully say whether she was disappointed in him or in herself.  "Love isn't the same thing."

"And you know this?"

"Of course I do.  You think that I don't understand the difference?"

"Then tell me, V, what is it?"

Pushing the blanket aside, Valerie stood up, shuffled over to the sofa and sat in the chair beside it.  "Lust is something that wears off over time," she said simply.  "It doesn't ever last."

She could feel his gaze on her.  All she could see, however, was a shadow hidden inside the recesses of a larger, slightly lighter one.  "I think it can," he countered mildly.

"You do."

He shifted slightly, more of a change in the aura that surrounded him rather than an actual sound.  "If you look at someone every day and you think, 'This person's beautiful . . .' then you realize that there's no one else on earth that shines as brightly as she does—and all you ever want to do is to make her happy . . ."

"Careful, Roka," she chided.  "That almost sounded romantic."

"I don't know about that," he said with a chuckle.  "Besides, I totally stole all that."

"From who?"

He chuckled again.  "Dieter.  Heard him say it once to Miss."

"I should have known," she sighed but smiled just a little.  "Did she buy it?"

"Of course she—No.  No, she didn't."

Valerie laughed softly and shook her head.  "The concert was good—well, aside from the sea of breasts . . . Dieter would've been proud."

"Aw, you didn't like that?" Evan teased half-heartedly.  Then he snorted, and the change in his mood was abrupt.  "The sea of tits was the highlight of the whole damn show . . . Everything else sucked monkey balls," he countered.  "The bass kept missing, always two beats behind everything else . . ."

"It sounded good to me," she assured him.

"No, it didn't."

"Are you sure you're being objective here?" she asked quietly, seriously.  "You're not being overly harsh on Pete because of Dieter, are you?"

"I'm being overly harsh on Pete because he sucks ass," Evan growled.

She nodded.  His temper was rising fast—too fast.  "People are starting to notice that you go out of your way to avoid being anywhere near him," she went on.

"What do you want me to do, V?" he challenged suddenly.  "You want me to go hang out with him?  Make him my buddy?"  Heaving a sigh, as though it had somehow deflated him, he shook his head.  "I can't . . . and I don't really want to."

"You don't have to go that far," she told him.  "Can't you just leave it alone for the good of your tour?"

"I'm trying," he snapped in complete exasperation.  "It's just not that easy."

"And you think everything in life comes easy, do you?" she asked.  "But it is your tour—your music—and you're the one that people pay money to see."

"Your point?" he grumbled pointedly.

"My point," she went on slowly, "is that if you keep avoiding Pete's side of the stage, the people on that side of the audience are being cheated."

Evan uttered a terse grunt.  "Can we drop this if I promise that I'll try harder next time?"

It wasn't exactly the answer that she'd hoped for, but she figured that it was better than nothing.  "I suppose," she allowed, stifling a yawn with the back of her hand.

"You believe in God?" he asked suddenly, quietly, like he'd been thinking about it for some time, but wasn't sure what his actual opinion was.

"God?" she echoed, shaking her head.  "Yeah . . . I guess so . . ."

He nodded, considering her answer.  "Do you think there's something out there after we die?"

She sighed, understanding what he was really wanting to know.  Unfortunately, she wasn't any closer to answering that particular question than he was.  "I . . . I don't know," she finally admitted.  "I guess I'd like to think so."

"Because you want to think that a part of you will always exist?" he challenged.

She shook her head then shrugged, picking at a bit of lint on her sweatshirt.  "Maybe . . . or maybe I just don't want to think that our lives don't matter—that it doesn't matter what we do, it'll all be for the nothing in the end."

"That makes it sound kind of hopeless," he admitted, shifting slightly, a whisper of movement that she could hear but couldn't rightfully see.

"What do you think?"

He sighed.  "I . . . I don't know," he admitted quietly.  "But sometimes . . . sometimes when I'm on stage?  It's like . . . like I can feel him."  He chuckled suddenly.  "Do I sound fucking crazy or what?"

"No, I don't think you do," Valerie replied.  He sighed again, but she could feel the heaviness in his very aura letting loose, little by little.  Yawning yet again, though, she shook her head.  "As much as I'd love to stay up and discuss the afterlife with you, Roka, I'm tired, and I'm going back to bed."

"Can I come with you?"

Valerie got up and padded back toward the bed once more.  "No."

"You sure?"

"Yes."

Evan snorted then heaved a melodramatic sigh.

Curling up in the bed, Valerie's eyes started to drift closed.  The sleepiness that had eluded her for so long was crashing down on her with a vengeance.

She was almost asleep when Evan's voice jerked her back to semi-consciousness.  "V?"

"Hmm?"

He didn't answer right away, but Valerie heard a couple rustling sounds as Evan stretched out on the sofa again.  ". . . I'm bored."

She would have rolled her eyes if she was able to open them.  As it was, she grunted something entirely unintelligible before snuggling a little deeper under the blanket.  "Shut up, Roka," she finally grumbled.  "Just go to sleep already."

The last sound that she heard was Evan's husky chuckle just before she drifted off to sleep . . .


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A/N:
'They're Coming to Take Me Away' by Napoleon XIV first released in 1966.  Song written by and copyrighted to N. Bonaparte (Jerry Samuels).
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Final
Thought from Evan:
Lust, huh …?
==========
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 70
Chapter 72
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