InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ When in Rome ( Chapter 78 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Seventy-Eight~~
~When in Rome …~


'Ah la luna, la luna
'The night that we fell under the spell of the moon
'Ah la luna, la luna
'The light that will bring me back to you
'The light of la luna …'

-'La Luna' by Belinda Carlisle.


"Evan!  Evan! Wake up, damn it!  Now!"

Uttering a terse grunt, he rolled over and tried to ignore the demand that he wake up.

"I'm serious, Roka!  Why are you naked?"

"Always naked," he grumbled, voice muffled by his pillow.

"Oh, whatever!  Why am I naked?" Valerie demanded.  "More importantly, why are we both naked?"

'Naked V!  Naked V!' his youkai barked.  Evan sat up straight, blinking away the last lingering remnants of sleepiness that clung to his brain.

"You're naked?" he asked, hooking his index finger in the front of the blanket she had wrapped around herself and trying to tug it down.

She slapped his hand away and glowered at him, her hair rumpled and entirely tousled, looking bleary-eyed from sleep despite the irritation that was thick in her expression.  "You can take my word for it, you pig."

"I prefer 'dog'," Evan grinned.

"I'm serious, damn it!" she growled, pinning him with an entirely accusing kind of glower.  "Why in the hell am I in your room—in your bed—naked?"

"Because I was a good boy, and God is blessing me?" he quipped hopefully.

That earned him a scathing glower.  "Where are my clothes, Roka?  What did you do with them?"

Evan shrugged.  "How would I know where they are?  What makes you think that I have anything to do with your state of undress?"

Sparing a moment from her perusal of the room, she leveled a dark look at him and wrinkled her nose.  "Because you're you," she informed him, "and you are nothing but bad."

"Wh—Th—Okay.  I'll give you that one, but that still doesn't prove that I removed your clothes, you know."

"This isn't funny," she informed him brusquely, cheeks a vivid shade of crimson.  "Oh, God," she moaned, burying her face in her hands as she hunched forward to keep her blankets from falling off.  "This can't be happening—It can't be happening—It can't be hap—"

"How do I really know you're naked?" he challenged.  "I mean, you say you are, but I haven't seen the proof yet, so for all I know, you could be wearing something under that blanket, now couldn't you?"

Rolling her eyes, she looked like she might be trying to decide whether it would be worth it to beat on him or not.  "Why would I lie about something like that?" she snarled.  "I'm naked, Roka—very, very naked!"

"Proof, V.  The jury demands proof," he informed her, heaving a melodramatic sigh as he slowly shook his head.

Flashing eyes narrowing dangerously, she pointed her index finger at him, jamming it under his nose.  "Listen, you—" Eyes widening in shock, she cut herself off abruptly as she blinked and stared at her hand.  "A-A-A-A-Ah!" she screamed in much the same way that she might if she had just seen a mouse.  "What the hell is that?"

Evan snapped his mouth closed as he, too, gawped at her hand—or more importantly, the ring on her finger on said-hand.  "Wow . . . That a big fucking rock, there," he allowed.

Flattening her palm, she lifted her hand to examine the ring that had suddenly appeared.  "Oh . . . my . . ." Trailing off, eyes flashing up to meet his, the light of panic glowing brightly, she shook her head quickly.  "N-No . . . No-o-o-o . . ."

Shaking his head, Evan scooted toward her and grabbed her arm to try to calm her down before she ended up hyperventilating or something.  "V—"

She shrieked again, this time pointing at his hand.

"What's gotten into—Oh, balls . . ." Evan breathed, staring rather dumbly at his own finger—and the thick gold band on his finger.

"What did you do?" she screeched, slamming her fist against his chest.  "Oh, my God, Evan!  What did you do?"

"Wh-Wh-Wha—? Why—? What do you mean, what did I do?" Evan countered indignantly.  "What makes you think that I did anything?"

"Because you're you," she snarled again since that was apparently her reason for everything.  "That's why!"

'Shit,' Evan thought wildly, gritting his teeth as he racked his brain, trying to remember exactly what had happened last night.  He was pulling a complete blank.  He didn't have any idea why they were both naked.  After all, the only reason a woman would be in that state in his bed was if they had—

Head snapping up suddenly, his eyes widened as he slowly, cautiously as sheer, unadulterated panic rippled up his spine, and he leaned toward her to sniff.  The scent of her, however, made his frown deepen.  She smelled completely normal, didn't she?  In fact, she didn't smell like he'd even laid a hand on her, one way or another . . .

Snorting indelicately, Evan couldn't help the very real wash of irritation that swept through him.  Of course he hadn't wanted to find out that he'd done something really stupid.  If that had happened, he'd never, ever be able to live it down.  His brother would probably beat on him.  His father would probably disown him. The rest of his family would probably give him guff every chance they got.  Well, except for Ryo-jiji since he had a bit of a mishap himself . . . Still, if he had . . .

'Yeah, but something like that should be something you always remember,' his youkai pointed out.

Evan nodded since he agreed.  At least if he had claimed Valerie as his mate, everything would've been a done deal.  Of course, there was a good chance that Valerie wouldn't ever speak to him again if that had happened . . . Well, it would have taken a very long time for her to forgive him, anyway . . .

"Think, Roka, think!" Valerie barked, struggling to get a grip on her rioting emotions.  "I remember . . ." Rolling her hand as though the gesture would speed up her mind, she made a face.  "Oh, I don't remember anything . . ."

"Okay, okay, okay," he said, sensing her escalating panic and wanting to calm her down.  She probably thought that they did have sex, but there wasn't any good way for him to explain to her that it hadn't happened without having to explain how he knew.  "Just, uh . . . What's the last thing you do remember?"

Valerie bit her lip and nodded slowly.  At least she was making an attempt to get a grip—a real trooper.  "The last thing . . . the last thing . . ." She sighed.  "I went to your room to see what you were doing, and you were eating those giant Pixie Stix things . . ."

Evan nodded.  "Right, right . . . because I lost that bet . . ."

Valerie's frown deepened.  "What was that bet about?  You never did tell me."

"Oh, that?  Bone bet that he could get these three chicks to fuck him at the same time, and I said he couldn't.  Apparently he was right—and I think he's my new hero . . ."

She stared at him for a moment but must have decided that he was telling the truth.  "Forget I asked," she muttered then waved her hand to shut him up.  "Anyway, I remember the Pixie Stix . . . How many of those did you have to eat?"

Evan made a face and affected a full-body shudder.  "Ugh . . . Too damn many," he muttered.  "Fifty."

She blinked and slowly shook her head since he had, in fact, been trying to choke down the last one when she'd breezed into his hotel room.  Glancing around, Evan winced.  The empty plastic straws were still littering the floor over by the fawn silk covered sofa . . . That would teach him, wouldn't it?  Never agree to a bet before you know what the consequences for losing are . . . Having to eat fifty of those three foot plastic straws filled with nothing but pure sugar with a touch of coloring and flavor was enough to give him nightmares.  "Bone's a wicked, wicked man.  I think he was trying to kill me . . ."

"No one made you bet with—" Cutting herself off short, she shook her head quickly, like she was trying to clear her mind, and shot him a dark glower.  "You're trying to distract me," she accused.  "Evan!  What does this mean?"

"Calm down, V, before you end up blowing an ass gasket."  Grimacing since her pitch had risen about ten octaves in the space of one sentence, Evan leaned away from her and heaved a sigh.  "Okay, okay," he muttered.  "Then you decided to help me drink that bottle of bourbon."

It was her turn to make a face at that reminder, and she stuck out her tongue like she had just tasted something bad.  "Uck . . . Don't remind me . . ."

"It was good bourbon," he reasoned.

She groaned loudly, letting her forehead fall into her hand.  "Ooh, I don't remember much after that . . ."

Staring thoughtfully at his hand, Evan wondered absently why the ring on his finger didn't really bother him at all.  Or maybe it was the presumption that a certain attorney had actually put it there that pleased him . . . "Hey, V . . .?"

"What?" she half-whined without looking at him.

Pushing up his bottom lip, struggling to find a neutral tone of voice, Evan shrugged in an offhanded sort of way.  "You don't suppose . . . You don't suppose we got . . . married . . . do you . . .?'

Oh, if looks could kill, he'd be dead on the spot.  Chin snapping up as the light of unadulterated panic engulfed her features, all the color in her face seemed to drain straight out of her face.  "N-No," she whispered, looking like she honestly believed that being married to him was worse than dying.  "Oh, no, no, no, no, no . . ."

Standing up abruptly, Evan turned his back on her and grabbed the jeans that he'd left on the floor.  It took a minute for him to actually hide the upset that her words had inspired.  It took him a minute longer to squelch the desire to ask her why, mostly because he knew damn well that he wouldn't like her answer, so what was the point?

"Oh, my God," she sighed.  At least she didn't sound like she was about to lose it anymore.  "Do you remember anything else?"

Scooping her panties and bra out of a nearby chair, he tossed them onto the bed near her and shrugged.  "Not really," he mused, scratching the center of his chest thoughtfully.  "Well, I mean, I kind of remember you saying that you wanted to sneak me out of the hotel . . ."

"I did?"

He nodded.  "Yeah, but I don't remember actually going out . . . Though I guess we must've, all things considered," he added, waving his ringed finger under her nose to emphasize his point.

She looked like she was ready to light into him, and for a moment, he thought that she was going to.  Suddenly, however, her eyes widened as what was left of her color drained from her face.  "Oh, my God!  My ring!  Where's my ring?"

Evan blinked and shook his head.  "Right there on your finger," he replied slowly.  "But I gotta tell you, I think it's a fake."

Glancing down at her hand, she shot him a murderous look as she yanked the ungodly rock off her finger and tossed it at him.  "Not this one, you ass!  My real engagement ring!  Where is it?"

Evan snorted.  "I'd hardly call that one an engagement ring," he retorted, tossing the ring she'd thrown in his face onto the bureau.  "More like a sick joke, if you ask me."

"I didn't ask you," she grumbled, biting her lip as she cast a wild eyed look around the room.  "Damn it . . .!"

"Aw, fuck, just tell Mandarin that you lost it.  Big whoop.  What're you out?  Five, ten bucks?  Just buy a few boxes of Cracker Jack.  I'm sure you'll find a replacement in one of them."

He'd pushed her too far, hadn't he?  She looked like she was either going to scream at him—or cry.  She didn't do either, however.  Instead, she scooted off the bed, careful to keep the blankets wound tightly around herself, and she stalked off toward the bathroom, mustering as much dignity as she could.  Evan held out the jeans and sweater she was wearing, and she snatched them in the same hand that held the bra and panties—very pretty, very feminine pink lace panties.

"Relax, V," he called after her, wrinkling his nose as his conscience pricked him for being an ass.  "We'll look for it, okay?"

Her muffled response was completely unintelligible.  Just as well, he figured.

He stifled a sigh.  He should have kept those and pretended that he didn't know where they were, damn it . . .

It really wasn't like him to not remember what had happened the night before.  Then again, it wasn't really like him to have gotten drunk enough for that to even be a possibility.  He vaguely thought that he remembered drinking some rum and bourbon shots, and if that really was what had happened, then it could account for everything.  For reasons that he didn't really understand, the combination of the two never had played nice with his system . . .

Not that it mattered.  The real question was exactly what had they done . . .?

Stomping out of the bathroom fully dressed and with the blankets bundled up in her arms, Valerie stalked over to the bed and dropped the load before pinning Evan with an impatient sort of look.  "Well?"

He glanced around to make sure that she was talking to him.  "Well, what?"

Rolling her eyes, Valerie grabbed his arm and hustled him toward the door, ignoring the fact that he was still naked from the waist up . . . and from the ankles down, for that matter . . .

"Where are we going?" he asked quizzically though he didn't try to pull away from her, either, when she dragged him out into the hallway.

"Someone's got to know what happened," she insisted stubbornly, stopping in front of the first door they came to.  The entire entourage tended to stay on the same floor of the hotel whenever possible, and she knew that.  This room just happened to belong to Bone.

He didn't answer after the third round of knocking, each one growing progressively louder than the last.  Valerie looked like she didn't believe that Bone wasn't in there.  Evan sighed and stepped in front of her before she could start round four and crossed his arms over his chest.  "You know, V, I don't think he's in there," he pointed out reasonably.

"Fine," she said curtly, grabbing his arm and trying to drag him further down the hallway.

Evan didn't budge other than to flex his pecs intermittently.  "Ah, come on," he coaxed with a grin.  "We couldn't possibly have gotten married anyway."

"Why couldn't we have?" she countered, arching an eyebrow.  "And stop that!  Ugh!  It's freaky."

"What?" Evan asked, flexing his pecs a few more times.  "That?"

"Yes," she insisted, her expression leaving no question in his mind about her opinion of his ability.  "That."

"Yeah, you're just jealous because you're a girl, so you can't do it, too," he jeered.

Valerie snorted, planting her hands on her hips and glowering up at him.  "I can," she informed him haughtily.  "Now come on!"

"I wanna see!" Evan blurted, eyes dropping to her non-flexing breasts.

"No," she stated flatly.  "Stop trying to distract me!"

Evan blinked and thought it over for a moment.  "Is it working?"

She snorted again.  "Is what working?"

"Is flexing my pecs a distraction for you?"

"Hardly!" she scoffed, turning away quickly, though not before he saw the hint of pink that rose in her cheeks.

Evan chuckled and fell in step behind her since she didn't seem like she was interested in sticking around to hear more of his teasing.  "What's the big deal?  They're pecs . . . it's not like you were standing there, eyeballing my junk."

She stumbled slightly at his seemingly innocent statement but caught herself and kept moving.

"Of course, if you wanted to eyeball my junk, I'd be happy to let you," he went on.  "I'd even pretend to be asleep the whole time . . ."

She shot him a decidedly nervous glance but didn't reply to that, either.  Evan sighed and pretended not to have noticed.  As much as he'd love to goad her more about the incident on the bus when she'd unabashedly given him a good once-over, he figured that she wouldn't really appreciate it at the moment—not when she was still trying to keep from freaking out over what had happened the night before.

Now if he could just remember it, he'd be one step ahead of the game . . .


"You asked me to marry you, and I said 'no' . . ."

"Asked me if I wanted a wife, and I said I just got rid of the last one . . ."

"Said you wanted to marry me . . ."

"S-So you asked me to . . . marry you—of course, I said 'no' . . ."

Grinding her teeth together, Valerie had to struggle to keep herself from growling in sheer irritation.

Though she still wasn't sure what had happened the night before, one thing was becoming increasingly clear as they hunted down everyone they could find on the thirty-fourth floor of the Las Vegas Regent Hotel: she'd apparently decided that she should get married since they were there, and she'd asked just about everyone to be her husband, too.

It was enough to make her want to cry, really.  Tay Nash glanced at Evan for a second before retreating a step in an effort to put a bit more space between himself and her.  "A-Anyway, looks like you found someone to do it," he went on, nodding once at the gaudy rock still on her hand, "so . . .uh . . . congratu . . . la . . . tions . . .?"

"Okay, thanks, Nash," Evan interjected before Valerie could unleash her full ire on him.  Grasping her around the waist, he turned her around and herded her toward the door.

"Later," Tay called after them.

Evan raised a hand to wave without stopping or looking back.

So far, she'd apparently proposed not only to Tay, but also to Frankie, Lars, Davie the sound tech, George the lighting tech, Devin, Bone's bus driver, Shay, Mike's assistant, and Jared, the wardrobe guy, just to name a few, but as humiliating as that might be, what was worse was that not one of them actually knew what had happened once Evan and she had left the hotel.

"What if no one knows?" she demanded, panic surging around the edges of her forced calm.

"Aw, hell, V, don't worry.  I mean, it's not like we did anything," Evan pointed out reasonably.

And as much as Valerie wanted to believe that, she wasn't sure if she could.  That would be too easy, wouldn't it?  Just what had she done, anyway?  More to the point, how was she ever going to explain this to Marvin?

"Kind of sucks," he went on airily.  "I mean, I wasn't planning on getting hitched in the first place, so I do and hell if I even get to have the marital sex afterward . . ."

"How do you know?" she challenged through gritted teeth, ignoring the uncomfortable wash of embarrassed heat that slammed into her cheeks.

He rolled his eyes and touched the tip of his nose as he grinned at her.  "Stands to reason, doesn't it?  I mean, you really think that after a night with me that you'd be able to run around without bothering to take a shower first?  Good sex—really good sex—is a messy business, baby."

She opened her mouth to snap at him, then closed it again, looking ten kinds of irked though she seemed like she thought that what he'd said made some sense, at least.

"Besides, it's not like we haven't learned anything," he went on, tugging at the neckline of the tee-shirt he'd grabbed out of Frankie's bag.

"I beg to differ," she grumbled.

"Sure, we have," he insisted.  "We learned that whatever happened was all your fault."

Her mouth dropped open, and she grabbed his arm to make him stop so that she could properly glower at him.  "We have not!"

Evan made a face and slowly, dramatically, shook his head.  "Let's look at the facts, shall we?  Of the seventeen people we've talked to thus far, fifteen of them have been asked to be Mr. V Denning, right?  So it had to be your idea."

Narrowing her eyes dangerously, she couldn't decide if she was more irritated at the very idea that he seemed to think that everything was her fault or that his logic, as simplistic as it was, kind of made sense.  "You know, I used to think that I hated you," she ground out from between clenched teeth, "but I didn't; not then.  I do now, though.  I hate you.  I despise you.  I can't stand—"

"Well, well, well, if it ain't the happy couple!"

Both Valerie and Evan's heads snapped to the side, staring at Bone as the head of security swaggered down the hallway toward them.

"You sleep it off, did you?" Bone went on with a broad grin.

Evan scratched his neck thoughtfully, almost bashfully. "Hey, big man . . . tell me something . . ."

Bone's grin widened as he stopped and crossed his meaty arms over his chest.  "Let me guess: the two of you been wanderin' around all day, trying to figure out what happened last night?"

Evan chuckled.  "Something like that."

"Not surprising," Bone allowed sagely.  "You two were pretty damn drunk."

"Just tell us what happened, please," Valerie interrupted, sick and tired of all the joking that she'd heard thus far in her quest to find out the truth.

Bone laughed.  "Well, in a nutshell, you told Roka that you were bored, and that since you were in Vegas, then you ought to do what everyone else does in Vegas."

Valerie shook her head.  "R-Really . . ."

"Aw, yeah," Evan drawled, squinting as he thought it over, stroking his chin with his thumb and index finger.  "I remember that now . . . I asked you if that meant you wanted to go lose a couple thousand bucks at a casino, and you said that you wanted to do the other thing that people do in Vegas . . ."

"W—I—I did not!" she insisted, her cheeks exploding in hot color.

Bone shrugged and scratched his temple.  "Yeah, you did," he countered, sticking his fists straight out in front of himself then swinging them in a wide circle as he rotated his hips.  "V, she wan' get married . . . V, she wan' get married . . ."

Evan laughed, apparently finding the entire situation a little more hilarious than he actually ought to.  "V, she wan' get—"

"Shut up, Roka!" Valerie snarled, rounding on him and giving him a good shove that barely moved him at all.

He laughed harder, but at least he stopped singing along with the less-than-amusing body guard.  "Did she ask you to marry her, too?"

"Well, hell, yeah," Bone quipped.  "I was the first one she asked.  Wants a little of the ol' chocolate sauce, if you know what I mean."

Stifling a groan, Valerie wondered what the odds were that she could get both of them into walk-in freezer that locked when it closed.

"Don't worry, though," Bone went on, completely oblivious as to the mayhem befalling him within Valerie's mind.  "Had to tell her she just don't got near 'nough booty for me."

"I dunno about that," Evan mused, leaning back to get a good gander at the aforementioned booty.  Valerie smacked him dead center in his chest.  The miscreant laughed, of course.  "I likes me that booty."

"Little man, you don't know booty till you see you some milk chocolate honey with the caboose that's breaking loose, ya."

Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum bumped fists and laughed like morons.  Valerie was personally ready to kill them both.  Figuring that she wasn't about to get any more answers out of either of them, jerks that they were, she turned on her heel and started down the hallway toward the elevator.

'I was drunk . . . and it was late . . . It can't possibly be legal, right . . .?' she mused, struggling for a calm that she was far from feeling.  Drunk or not, she'd married him?  Zel Roka?  Evan?  But even as she tried to convince herself that the marriage couldn't possibly be legal, she seemed to recall that Las Vegas had a special law on the books; one that legalized quickie weddings as long as they were performed at a licensed and sanctioned establishment within the city limits even without the license that every other place required.  After all, it was the marriage capital of the world, wasn't it?  A hellacious pounding erupted behind her eyes, and she bit down hard on the inside of her cheek to keep herself from screaming in sheer panic.  Just how was she going to explain this to Marvin, damn it?  'Oh, by the way . . . I went on tour with Zel Roka, ha ha . . . The judge insisted, right?  So—and here's the best part!  Really funny, I swear!  You're just going to die when you hear!  I got drunk in Las Vegas and figured I'd get married!  It's a riot, isn't it?'

Stifling a sigh, she shook her head.  As understanding as Marvin tended to be, she just couldn't quite see him thinking that anything about this was amusing in the least.  It might all be one big joke to Evan, but it just wasn't, not to her.  Maybe he was used to never having to take anything seriously, but she couldn't do that, and more to the point, she couldn't hurt Marvin, not like that . . .

"Hey, baby," Evan said, catching up with her near the elevator.  "Where you going?"

Jamming the call button about a hundred times in rapid succession, Valerie snorted indelicately and leaned back to look at the floor indicator over the sliding doors.  "As far away from you as I can possibly get," she snapped.

"Relax, V," he drawled.  "Besides, it ain't every day you get married, right?  And hell!  You married one of the most eligible bachelors on the fucking planet, I'll have you know."

Opting to ignore that statement since it rather made her want to brain him with whatever she could get her hands on, Valerie clamped her mouth closed so tightly that her jaw ticked.

"I mean, there're perks . . ."

She was almost afraid to ask.  Morbid curiosity got the better of her, though.  "Like what?" she challenged petulantly, shrugging his arm away when he tried to slip it around her shoulders.

He chuckled, odious cur that he was.  "Like—"

"Say 'sex', and die," she warned.

His grin widened.  "Take all the fun out of it, why don't you?" he teased.

She erupted in a low growl that only served to further his amusement at her expense.  "Okay, okay," he relented, holding up his hands in surrender.  "But you know, I'd let my wife spend my money," he allowed with a simplistic shrug.

She snorted.  "That goes without saying, you jerk," she grumbled.  "That's not a perk—it's a given."

Evan sighed but didn't stop grinning, and to her everlasting chagrin, he had the audacity to lean down and kiss the end of her nose.

"Stop it!" she insisted, rubbing furiously at her nose like she was afraid that he'd managed to infest her with some sort of lethal germ.  "I'm mad at you, remember?"

"Okay, first off," he began, poking a finger in her face, "you cannot blame me for marrying you when you seemed to be hell-bent on doing it."

"The hell I can't," she snarled, slapping his hand away.

Evan shrugged.  "Second off, you're assuming that we're legally married."

Rolling her eyes, she shoved him away so that she could glower at him better.  "Of course we are," she snapped.  "Not that I want to be, because I don't!"

"You're such a cold woman, Val," he taunted.  "Think about it, will you?  We were both bombed out of our fucking minds . . . Do you really think that the ol' Bone would let us do anything that permanent?"

"Save your breath, Roka," Bone interjected, slipping an arm around both Valerie and Evan's shoulders.  "My girl V don't believe nothin' that she don't see, right?"

Valerie snorted and was about to shrug his arm away, too, when a fluttering paper in his hand caught her eye.  "What's that?"

Bone grinned.  "It's your marriage certificate," he said.

Valerie snatched it out of his hand and stared at it, but it took her brain a bit longer to actually absorb what she was reading.

"Zel Bigguns Roka—Bigguns?" she repeated quizzically.

Evan grinned and grabbed his crotch, shaking it as that damned grin widened.  "I'm going to assume that 'Bigguns' refers to the size of my stuff," he intoned lightly.

Bone nodded.  "That's what you said last night, little man."

Evan grinned wider and gestured at Bone while nodding enthusiastically at the frazzled attorney.

Valerie narrowed her eyes on him for a long moment before turning her attention back to the license in her hands.  "G . . . Goddess V . . . Pin—Oh, you ass!" she bellowed, turning toward Evan and smashing her fist against his upper arm.  It didn't accomplish anything but drawing a guffaw of laughter out of the miscreant rock star—and making her hand throb painfully.

"That'd make you 'Goddess V Pinkle-Zelig'," he added helpfully.

Valerie made to punch him again.  Bone caught her fist and chuckled.  "Down, Rocky," he laughed, letting go of her and pulling her a little further away from the now-cackling Evan.  "Man . . . you'd better shut up before V, here, goes medieval on your ass . . ."

It took significantly longer for Evan to actually get a grip on his humor, though, which just figured.  Wiping his eyes, he heaved a sigh though the smile was still firmly etched on his features.  "So you see?  No harm, no foul, right?"

"Hell, we didn't even get to have sex," Evan whined, looking sorely put out for what he viewed as the inconvenience of it all.

She wasn't entirely mollified.  "So you say," she grumbled, feeling her headache escalating upward toward migraine territory.

"Nah, there wasn't no hanky or panky," Bone interjected calmly.  "Roka couldn't get it up—and then he passed out five minutes later."

Valerie snorted, unsure whether she ought to believe Bone but desperately wanting to.  "We were naked," she gritted out, hating to admit the sorry truth.

Bone grinned again.  "Yeah, that's because you told him that you were sure that seeing you naked would help him out.  Too bad he was already out cold by the time you got your dress off."

Making a face, unable to contain the flood of color that surged under her skin, she shook her head.  "Did you . . . see me . . .?"

"Eh, don't worry about it.  You passed out about five minutes after he did."

Somehow, that wasn't exactly comforting.  Sighing heavily as she rubbed her forehead, she brushed past both men and onto the elevator then poked the 'close door' button about fifty times in an effort to escape the two idiot men.  Bone caught the door before it could close all the way, and he held it while Evan followed her into the cramped space, which just figured.  Then the rotten man waved at them as the doors slid shut with a strange air of finality.  She sighed yet again.  With the way her luck was going, they'd probably end up getting stuck before she had a chance to get away . . .

Evan was silent for about two floors.  Then he cleared his throat and kind of flicked his hand nervously.  "Hey, uh, you know, V . . ."

"What?" she asked, mid-sigh.

"If it'd make you feel better, we could go do it again," he offered.  "You know, using real names and all that . . ."

She couldn't possibly be hearing him right.  She really couldn't.  Not even he would be stupid enough to try to get her to actually go out and really marry him after all that . . . Glancing at him, she shook her head.  He looked serious enough.

"Listen, Roka," she said, her voice barely above a whisper and trembling with the irritation that his question had inspired in her as the doors slid open and she smacked her hand against the opening to keep it from closing before she got out, "I wouldn't marry you for real if you were the last man on earth, and God himself decreed it.  Right now, I don't really like you very much, and even if I did, do you think I'm stupid enough to marry someone who doesn't know when to keep his damn pants on?  Someone who's never even had a girlfriend because he's too much of a player and a jackass to be serious for even five minutes?  As soon as your case is over, I swear to God that I never, ever want to see your sorry face, ever again."

Ripping the offending marriage certificate in half, she threw it at him, and then she stomped out of the elevator alone, striding down the hallway toward her room, her footsteps echoing around her.

She didn't stop to see if Evan got off the elevator, too, and she didn't look back.

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'La Luna' by Belinda Carlisle first appeared on her 1989 release, Runaway Horses.  Song written by and copyrighted to Ellen Shipley and Rick Nowels.
== == == == == == == == == ==
mynera ------ theblackthorn ------ alessa186 ------ lilswtheart9811 ------ darkangel05 ------ monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ FireDemon86 ------ JKD1989 ------ brownie31 ------ Ninj4 ------ OROsan0677 ------ Meru ------ Usagiseren05 ------ CatLover260 ------ Kitty BoBo
Proforce ------ archeronlover ------ Shiratsuki ------ indigorrain ------ malitiadixie ------ cutechick18 ------ free_freeme_free ------ OROsan0677 ------ Chalimander ------ WonderAway
Thought from Valerie:
I'm going to kill him yet
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.

Chapter 77
Chapter 79
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