InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Proximity ( Chapter 86 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Eighty-Six~~
~Proximity~


-OoO oOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'She was a Jezebel, this burstin' queen
'Livin' her life like a bad sweet dream
'Tellin' me lies when the truth was clear
'I think she knew what I wanted to hear …'

-'Close to You' by Maxi Priest.

-Valerie-


Uttering a soft groan as the painful intrusion of reality jarred Valerie out of a very sound slumber, she rolled to the side, burying her face deeper into the warmth of the body beside her.  Her head felt as though it was going to burst, so much so that even her skin felt unnaturally tight and feverish despite the chill that had settled in, bone-deep, and her mouth tasted like something had died on her tongue . . .

A heavy sigh resounded in her ears, reverberating from the body next to her and echoing through her skull with absolutely no finesse, whatsoever, and she groaned again.  The groan quickly shifted into a whimper, however, as that sound set off sharp, stabbing pains ripping straight through her brain.

She didn't know how long she stayed there, trying in vain to pretend as though she could still go back to sleep.  As the realization that sleep was not going to be possible seeped in, so did another one: a much more embarrassing one.  Her hand was resting on his chest, and his chest was bare—not entirely bad, but . . . but she was . . . naked . . .?

"Roka!  Why am—O-O-O-O-Oh . . ." she moaned, unable to finish her tirade as the sound of her own voice threatened to shatter her skull.  After a few moments and after the vicious throbbing in her head subsided just a little, she swallowed hard and turned her head to look at him until she figured that the intrusion of light was enough to make her want to throw up, so she turned her face back toward the darkness once more.  "What . . . happened . . .?" she whispered.  Even that was just a little too loud, and she whimpered again.  As much as her head hurt, though, she really needed to know . . . "Why am I naked . . .?"

"Relax, V.  Nothing happened," he told her.

"But I'm—"

Evan heaved another sigh.  "No more sake for you," he rumbled in a low tone, just loudly enough for her to hear him.  Too bad it hurt anyway.  "Not ever."

"As if I should believe you," she retorted, gritting her teeth as the pain in her head reached a crescendo.  "Where are my panties?"

Evan grunted.  "About four hundred miles back on the side of the road," he informed her, "give or take a few miles."

"What?" she snapped then winced.  "Oo-o-o-oh . . ."

"You emancipated them, remember?  Your bra . . . Your panties . . . My sanity . . ."

The groan shifted into a half-whine.  "Like I'd do—" The vaguest hint of a memory flickered to life in her mind, and her eyes opened wide, only to squeeze closed a moment later when light set off another round of throbbing in her head again.  In her mind, however, she could remember her bra flying out the window, and while the image was a little fuzzy, she knew damn well that it wasn't her imagination, even though she'd love for it to be . . . "Oh, God . . . I did," she whispered.  She didn't want to remember anything else.  She really didn't want to remember anything else . . .

She grumbled.  "What's wrong with you?" she demanded, unwilling to relinquish her hold on him since he was so very, very warm.  "You're never grumpy."

"There's nothing wrong with me, V," he said, the growl still evident in his tone.

"Then shut up and stay still, will you?  I'm cold, and you're warm, and—"

"V . . ."

". . . What?" she whined, her face buried against his chest.

"You seriously need to get those pretty little boobies of yours off of me before I pick up where I left off last night," he half-growled.

She muttered something that wasn't actually any real words, but she didn't complain when he pushed the sheet in around her, between their bodies.  In truth, she wanted to grump at him some more, but the pain in her head wouldn't allow it.  Evan lay still for another minute then carefully extricated himself from the bed before stomping off toward the bathroom.

Valerie forced an eye open long enough to see that he was still half-dressed even if she was completely naked, but her mind simply couldn't process a single thing.  Of all the hangovers she'd ever suffered, this was definitely one for the record books, and she closed her eyes, groaning quietly when the bus lurched.

'Oh . . .' she thought, unable to do much more than whimper and bury her face deeper into the pillow, 'just let me die . . .'


-Evan-


Setting the glass on the table beside the bed, Evan heaved a sigh and tapped Valerie's shoulder with the back of his hand.

A terse grunt was her response, and she tightened her grip on the pillow she'd yanked over her head when he'd started messing around in the kitchenette after the long and not very helpful shower that he'd taken shortly after she'd regained consciousness and started in on him.  Jacking off in the shower about five times had helped, at least a little bit.  The boner he'd suffered with all night was finally, blessedly gone, but his entire body ached almost like he had a fever or something, and the throbbing in his head was undoubtedly due to the sleepless night he'd just endured.

He snorted.  Truth be told, he wasn't in such a great mood, either.  Having spent the entire night in the bed with a very naked Valerie Denning was hell on his system.

And there was worse.

Once his brain had started to function normally, he'd slowly started to realize exactly what he'd almost done.  If she hadn't fallen asleep, he'd have fucked her—fucked the hell out of her, and damn the consequences of that because God only knew that grabbing a condom would've been the last thing on his mind.

And then there would be a world of trouble right now instead of just Valerie's hangover from hell . . .

"Here," he said, unable to keep the hint of gruffness out of his voice when she finally rolled over with a terse grunt of protest followed by a whimper when the grunt apparently caused her more pain.  "Drink that," he said, gesturing at the glass he'd set on the nightstand.

"Lost your mind," she grumbled in a plaintive little whine.  "Not drinking . . . anything . . ."

Evan rolled his eyes and moved away from the bed, trying to ignore the fact that she was still very, very naked under those blankets.  "Drink it," he commanded.  She flinched at the volume of his tone and whimpered just a little.  He sighed.  "It'll help.  Trust me."

It took a good five minutes for her to manage to sit herself up with a lot of grumbling and half-muttered complaints, not to mention a few threats that she was going to be sick.  She didn't, and by the time he'd found his cell phone to check his messages, she was kind of slumped against the headboard with the sheet wrapped tightly around her body.

"You're really not trying to make me throw up, right?" she asked dubiously as she grudgingly eyed the concoction in the glass and cautiously lifted it to her nose.

"I've probably had more hangovers in my lifetime than you have," he said as he scrolled through the twenty or so text messages that he'd gotten since the last time he'd checked.  One of them was from Cindy at Vestron Motorworks, and he clicked on that one to read it.  "That'll help settle your stomach; I swear it."

"What's in it?" she pouted.  "It smells like banana . . . and . . . peppermint . . ."

Any other time, Evan probably would have chuckled.  As it was, he just wasn't feeling it.  Emotions still too raw, too inflamed, memories too fresh, too vivid . . . Keying in a response to the text message at lightning speed, he clicked the 'send' button and snapped the phone closed.  "Mostly banana," he told her with a shrug, struggling for a sense of nonchalance that he was far from feeling.  "Banana and honey with a little peppermint oil.  Best thing for hangovers."

He could feel her probing stare but didn't turn to verify it.  "That doesn't sound like a hangover cure," she mumbled.

"Suit yourself," he replied.  "By the way, we'll be stopping soon, so if you really don't want to drink that and maybe—maybe—feel a little better, then don't come crying to me when your poor head can't stand the bedlam when the bus stops at the hotel."

She groaned quietly, but the sound of it was muffled halfway through by the glass.  "That wasn't so bad," she ventured a couple minutes later.  Heaving a sigh, she set the glass back on the nightstand and grimaced.  "Do I have time to take a shower?"

"Doubt it," he said, yanking open the closet door and pushing hangers back and forth on the rack.  Nabbing a black silk shirt, he figured it was good enough.  Tugging the shirt on, however, he caught sight of his face in the full length mirror affixed to the back of the door, and he winced.  Eyes so bloodshot, so reddened around the edges and complete with the rather vacant air in his gaze that he couldn't blink away, he looked like he was either stoned or exhausted, and he grabbed a pair of sunglasses off the small dresser built into the closet before pushing the door closed and turning to face Valerie.  "If you hurry, you can probably get a quick one in before we stop."

She sighed, but managed to scoot off the bed without losing the sheet in the process.  Wavering on her feet for a moment, she steadied herself with a hand on the nightstand before uttering another soft groan and stumbling off toward the bathroom.

It was on the tip of his tongue to ask her if she needed help since she really didn't seem very steady at all, but he nixed the idea about the moment it occurred to him.  She would probably not welcome his offer, no matter how genuine he was trying to be, anyway.

The bathroom door closed with a very soft click, and Evan let out a deep breath.  He knew damn well what was coming.  As soon as she started to feel better—as soon as she started to really sober up—she was going to let him have it, wasn't she?  She was going to let him have it because she was going to blame him for everything that happened last night, from the sake to the impromptu make-out session—if she remembered that much of it, anyway . . .

Unfortunately, he kind of deserved that, too.  That damned sake was his, wasn't it, and he'd known that she was too much of a lightweight to be able to handle it.  If she ended up demanding that he put her on a plane headed back to New York City, then it'd be no more than he deserved, and if she decided that she never wanted to see him again?

'The fucking hell,' his youkai growled.

Heaving a longsuffering sigh, Evan grimaced.  'Let's just hope it doesn't come to that,' he thought, unable to deal with that idea for more than a few seconds.  After all, he was still suffering, damned if he wasn't.  His head felt oddly feverish, his body was achy all over, not unlike what he figured humans must feel when they came down with the flu.

How could he possibly be so damn careless?

That was the million dollar question, wasn't it?  He'd come so close to losing control last night—hell that, he had lost it, hadn't he?  He hadn't possessed the wherewithal to resist her.  Of course he didn't.  She was his mate, damn it.  He wasn't supposed to resist her, now was he?  That was part and parcel with the damn deal: mates weren't supposed to be able to deny each other anything . . .

'So tell that to her,' his youkai grumbled.

Evan sighed again and slowly shook his head.  She still wasn't ready to hear it, and he knew that.  If he tried to tell her the truth about whom and what he really was, she'd probably have him committed . . . He ought to just march into that bathroom and finish what she started last night, damn it.  After all, she would definitely remember it now, wouldn't she?

'Yeah, and if she was still planning on talking to you, she certainly wouldn't if you did that, fool.'

He snorted since his youkai voice was, regrettably, right.

No, the best thing for him to do at the moment was to just go on like nothing happened, wasn't it?  Go on like nothing happened until Valerie gave him a clue as to what she was thinking, anyway . . .

Damned if he liked that idea, either . . .


-Valerie-


The heat of the water flowing from the tap was helping to gradually restore a semblance of clarity to Valerie's overwrought brain.

'Or maybe it's Evan's drink that's really helping . . .'

Wrinkling her nose as she closed her eyes and lifted her chin, allowing the water to flow over her face and down her body, she had to admit that at least she wasn't feeling like she wanted to puke up her guts anymore, and that was a huge plus, as far as she was concerned.

Unfortunately, as her body started to return to a semblance of normal, she was also starting to remember things—things that had been a haze—things that she wasn't sure she wanted to remember, at all . . .

The earlier part of the evening was very clear in her mind, from the impromptu game of strip-poker—good God, that was her idea, wasn't it—to Evan, trying to get her to stop drinking . . . shamelessly plopping into his lap in nothing but her bra and panties . . . by the time her mind had replayed the whole episode of her, flinging her panties out the window, she was groaning softly, squeezing her eyes closed as she futilely hoped that Evan didn't remember any of it.  The logical part of her brain told her that there was no way that he was drunk enough to forget, but she could hope, couldn't she . . .?

Especially when she remembered following him into the bathroom—and all the things that had happened in there . . . She hadn't really helped him jack off, had she . . .? Stifling a groan, she winced.  Oh, she had a feeling that she had, even if those memories were a little fuzzier in her head . . .

By the time she recalled what had happened when she'd followed him out of the bathroom, though, she was beyond mortified.  Every kiss, every touch . . . Why were those memories so damn vivid?  Slumping against the wall, she groaned low and wished she could melt and flow right down the drain.  The idea of facing Evan again . . .?

She stifled a whimper with the back of her hand and forced herself to take a few deep breaths to calm herself down.  The last thing—the very last thing—she wanted to do was to go out there and to face Evan again, not when she knew that everything that had happened last night was entirely her fault . . .

When the hot water started to cool down, though, she sighed and shut off the taps, blinking as her gaze caught on the tiny diamond, winking in the hazy light of the steam-filled bathroom.

"M . . . Marvin . . ." she murmured as her stomach twisted in a way that had nothing at all to do with her hangover.  "Oh, God . . ."

Just what had she almost done?

Her temper flared for a moment as the voice in her head started condemning Evan.  After all, she wouldn't be in this kind of predicament if it wasn't for him, would she?  If he hadn't been so stupid, if he hadn't forced her into agreeing to come with him on this stupid mini-tour . . .

But just as quickly as the outrage surfaced, it vanished, too.

"Aw, I don't know about that . . . Maybe you should keep them under wraps for now . . ."

"I, uh . . . I think maybe you should put that back on . . ."

"W—I—We . . . We could stop the bus and look for it . . ."

"You're drunk, you know . . . really, really drunk . . ."

And she was the one who had pushed him away when he'd tried to get her to put something on . . . She was the one who had . . . had kissed him, and even if he had given in to her, just what the hell had she expected him to do when she . . .?

No, he really had tried, hadn't he?  He'd tried so hard to save her—protect her . . . and she . . .

Grimacing again as she wrapped a fluffy towel around herself, she sighed.  If anything, she owed that man a huge apology, and Marvin . . .? Just what was she going to tell him?

'Think about that later,' her conscience said suddenly.

Valerie snorted and scowled at her reflection in the mirror after she wiped it off with a clean washcloth.  Dark circles under her eyes, her hair in a mess of tangles, her skin a kind of sickly shade of yellow under her tan, she looked like hell warmed over—and she didn't feel much better than that, either.

'Right now, you'd better consider the fact that you didn't bother to bring any clothes in here with you.'

A groan slipped from her at that realization, and she slumped onto the toilet seat.  Under the circumstances, was it really a good idea to go out there in nothing but a towel . . .?

She sighed and rubbed her face.  There was just no winning for losing, was there . . .?


-Evan-


"Yes, I know: two interviews and a short photo shoot, then a late night radio spot," Evan said, wondering if Mike would buy it if he hung up and told him that cell reception in the area sucked balls.

"You all right?  You sound a little tired."

"Fine," Evan lied.  "Don't worry about me."

"Hmm . . . I'll have someone bring you a protein drink when you get to the hotel," he decided.  "Bone said that you should be there within a half hour."

"Yeah, sure," Evan intoned.  "See you."

Snapping the phone closed, Evan let out a deep breath and slowly shook his head.  Truthfully, he'd much rather hole himself up in his hotel room and catch a few z-s . . .

The soft sound of someone clearing her throat drew his attention though Evan didn't turn around.

"Uh . . . E-Evan . . .?"

Frowning at the shyness in Valerie's tone, Evan glanced over his shoulder, only to find her peering out at him through a two inch crack between the door and the frame.  "Yeah?"

She bit her lip and cleared her throat again, and he didn't miss the slight blush that pinked up her rather pallid cheeks.  "W-Would you mind . . .? I forgot to grab some clothes . . ."

Nodding slowly, he strode over and grabbed a pair of jeans and a soft, cozy sweater, along with a bra, panties, and a pair of socks out of her suitcase.  "Here," he said, slipping the stack of clothes into the hand she stuck out of the bathroom.

"Thanks," she mumbled as she closed the door again.

Evan sighed again and shook his head as the bus crept through downtown traffic on the way to the hotel where they'd be staying until after the show tomorrow night.  Her reaction wasn't exactly what he'd expected, and to be honest, he rather preferred her anger, her passion . . .

Surely she wouldn't stay that way, though, not Valerie.  That kind of subdued behavior was just not in her personality . . . Was it . . .?


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A/N:
'Close< /b> to You' originally appeared on Maxi Priest's 1990 release, Bonafide.  Song written by and copyrighted to Gary Benson, Winston Sela, and Max Elliot.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
She's not yelling
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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 85
Chapter 87
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