InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Turbulence ( Chapter 94 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Ninety-Four~~
~Turbulence~


-O oOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'The warden threw a party at the county jail
'The prison band was there and they began to wail
'The band was jumpin' and the joint began to swing
'You should've heard those knocked out jailbirds sing …'

-'Jailhouse Rock' by Elvis Presley


-Evan-


"Broke n nose, cracked jaw, two fractured ribs, dislocated arm, five broken fingers, and a severely bruised tailbone," Valerie read off the list, one by one, off the preliminary complaint that the cops had already filled out.  "There are also numerous lacerations and contusions, as well.  Shall I read those off to you, too?" she demanded dryly.

Evan was careful to keep his expression completely blank aside from the slight lilt to his top lip—more of a sneer than a grin.  "Didn't mention any brain injuries, did it?"

Narrowing her eyes at the hint of hopefulness in his tone, Valerie crossed her arms over her chest, tucking the written report under her elbow as she pinned him with a scathing glower.  "Why would you do this?"

"Because I hate his goddamn guts; that's why," he replied simply enough.

"You don't hate anyone," she shot back with a decisive snort.

"Yeah, well, there's a first time for everything," he retorted.  "Besides, he's a jackass.  It's about time that someone put him in his fucking place."

"Did it have to be you?" she growled, dropping the phone onto the table behind the sofa and pacing across the floor.  "According to the reports, you swaggered into the bar and lit into the victim without any provocation at all, and I want to know why."

"Oh, come on, V!  You damn well know why!" he retorted with an indignant grunt.  The look on her face stated quite plainly that she really had no idea just what he was talking about, and he snorted.  "Jass fucking Martel was asking for it."

Valerie had her mouth open to say something, but at the mention of the victim—and he used the term very, very lightly—she snapped her mouth closed and slowly, slowly shook her head.  "Are you telling me that you beat the hell out of Justin?" she asked quietly.

"Damn straight," he stated belligerently, lifting his chin a notch in a show of bravado.  "I was about to break his fucking kneecaps when hotel security stepped in."

"Why did you go after him?" she demanded.  Seconds later, though, her eyes flared wide, and she jerked her head in disbelief.  "Because of what I told you?" she asked in a somewhat deflated sort of tone.  "Is that why?  Evan—"

"You think I wouldn't?" he retorted.  "Passed you around like a fucking blow up doll?  And for what?  So he could look like a goddamn rock star?"

A strange sort of expression flickered over her face.  For a moment, she actually looked like she might laugh.  Whatever, though, because she didn't.  Letting out a deep breath, she opted instead to scowl at him.  "You're an idiot," she pointed out evenly, but her words lacked the irritation that probably should have accompanied them.  "I can't believe you'd beat on him just because of what I told you . . . I did tell you that it was years ago, didn't I?  Water under the bridge, you fool: water under the bridge . . ."

"Yeah, maybe," he muttered, snatching up the bottle of water off the table beside him and downing half of it in one long gulp.  "You know, right?  If he did that shit to you, he's done it to other women, too. His old lady was higher than a goddamn kite, and his fucking buddies were groping the hell out of her when I walked into the bar.  Just a matter of time before he thought he'd be King Shit again, don't you think?  That okay with you, too, V?"

She didn't respond to that and changed the topic completely.  "Is that why you agreed not to leave the hotel?  Because you knew he'd be here?"

Evan didn't deny it, turning just far enough to watch her as she strode away from him, stopping at the windows, raking her hands through her hair in a thoroughly exasperated sort of way.  When she did, however, he noticed something else, and he shot to his feet, stomped over to her.  "What the fuck is that?" he demanded, his tone at odds with the gentleness in his hands when he grasped her shoulders and turned to around to face him.  His fingers were trembling when he pushed her hair out of the way and lifted her chin to inspect the angry scratches on her cheek.  "Who the hell did that?"

Valerie snorted and knocked his hand away.  "Don't you dare change the subject, Roka," she insisted.

Evan ignored her reprimand.  "Where was Bone?  Goddamn it—"

"It wasn't his fault," she snapped, glaring at him angrily as though she were daring him to gainsay her.  "If you take it out on him, I swear to God, you can find yourself another attorney, and—"

"Taking care of you out there is his responsibility, woman—not negotiable—got it?" he growled back.  "He knows damn well, and—"

"Leave it alone, Roka!  It was an accident, okay?"  Letting out a deep breath, she rubbed her forehead and slowly shook her head.  "Anyway, I'll live, and you have bigger fish to fry than harassing Bone, don't you?  You have to give a statement," she said, more to herself than to him.  "The detectives want to know why you suddenly attacked . . . attacked . . ." Head whipping to the side to pin him with a no-nonsense glower, Valerie made a face and drew a deep breath, as though she had to bolster her own nerves just to say his name.  ". . . Justin."

He blinked and stared at her for a long moment.  "They can fucking suck my goddamn dick," he growled.

The look she shot him might have been damned funny—if he had been in the mood to see any real humor in anything.  He wasn't.  No, if anything, he was struggling with the restlessness that came with the feeling that he just hadn't done nearly as much damage as he'd wanted to do, and to see those livid scratches on Valerie's face?  If he saw Bone any time in the near future, there was likely to be another fight, and to be completely honest, Evan rather hoped that the big guy wasn't too far away . . . "You have to give a statement," she reiterated slowly.  "If you don't cooperate on some level, then you can bet that any judge that looks at this case is going to demand that you remain here in Detroit indefinitely."

He didn't like her assessment, not at all.  It wasn't that he disliked Detroit, no, but being ordered to stay put for something as stupid as that just smacked him of ridiculous.  That didn't mean that he couldn't appreciate what she was saying.  He simply didn't like it.  Still, he wished that he'd had a little longer to beat on that damned bastard.  It wasn't nearly enough, as far as he was concerned.

"Fine," he gritted out from between clenched teeth.  "Bring in the clowns."


-Valerie-


Heaving a sigh, Valerie pushed her bangs out of her face and held them in place with one hand as she fumbled with a barrette with the other to secure them without taking her eyes off of the stack of statements in front of her.

It was colossally stupid, wasn't it?  No less than thirty-two eye-witness accounts of Evan's impromptu attack on Justin—aka Jass—Martel, and while many of them hadn't actually seen what might have provoked the fight, it didn't matter when all of them had corroborated Martel's statement that he was sitting in the bar, having a beer with a few of the other performers at the event when Evan had strode in, headed straight toward them, and had let his fist do the talking.

'Oh, Evan . . .'

In the end, all he'd told the detectives when he gave his statement was that it was nothing more than a bit of unfinished business, and no matter how many times they asked, he refused to tell them what it was all about.  There wasn't a thing that she could do to stop them when they'd handcuffed Evan and escorted him out of the hotel, and she hadn't been able to bond him out of jail until the next morning, either.  By then, though, the miscreant had only grinned at her, telling her that it was no big deal.  How he could say that, however, was entirely beyond her.  The story had broken in the news—it had even outranked the President of the United State's visit to South Africa—and there were more reporters trying to get into the hotel than Valerie cared to think about.

Letting out a deep breath, Valerie slowly shook her head, dropping the ink pen she'd been holding and pushing herself to her feet to wander over to the window.  Rocktoberfest was still going strong despite the idea that Evan's show on Saturday—less than two days away—was still up in the air.  The organizers of the event weren't entirely sure that they wanted him to perform after the fighting incident.  In fact, that was where he was at the moment: in a meeting with the powers that be to decide whether or not it was a good idea to allow the show to go on as scheduled.

The thought that occurred to her, though, was the nagging memory of watching as the police handcuffed him and led him away.  The image that lingered in her mind just wouldn't go away, nor would the unsettling sense of turmoil that she hadn't been able to shake off, even after she'd brought him back and fought through the throng of reporters who had camped out all night, beating on the window of the taxi as it slowed to a crawl as it approached the hotel, yelling questions that they hoped in vain that he'd answer . . .

Turning away from the window, Valerie sighed again.  All of this over what she'd told him about her relationship with the jackass that had ended over ten years ago . . .? The stupidity of the situation left a bitterness in her mouth that she couldn't swallow.  Why on earth would Evan let that get to him, anyway?  After all, it wasn't like he was a saint, either.  Hadn't she seen concrete proof of that when she'd seen him with those twins?

But the difference, she supposed, was that he never bullied anyone into doing anything, and as much as she'd like to condemn him, she also knew damn well that women really just couldn't seem to resist him, either.

She snorted and stomped over to grab a bottle of water out of the refrigerator in the bar.  'Because,' she thought as she gave the cap a vicious yank, 'because he's so used to loving women that he can't comprehend the idea of using them . . . maybe.'

That man, though . . . Why was he so hell bent on getting into trouble?  Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, but still . . .

About the only good news she'd had so far, if one could call it that, was that the police had asserted that they'd leave it up to the victim as to whether or not he wanted to press charges.  It seemed that the local DA didn't want to have to make the call when it came to whether or not they'd choose to prosecute the biggest rock star on the planet, especially when he was already in the midst of a fairly heated bid to be re-elected.

Unfortunately, that meant that she'd have to find a way to convince that jackass that he didn't want to press charges against Evan—as if it was really that cut and dried.  While it was true that she hadn't seen nor spoken to Justin in years, she really didn't think he'd changed so much from the opportunistic little slime-ball he was back then, and the notoriety of being connected to the Zel Roka mystique, albeit in a bad kind of way, would be something that would speak to his shameless lust for exposure, she was sure.

The fax machine on the desk beeped softly moments before it spat out a couple pieces of paper, and Valerie stared at it for several seconds before she ventured over to retrieve it.

The letterhead was that of a very prominent law firm based in Los Angeles and renowned for representing a lot of entertainers.  They were also notorious for only taking on cases that were absolutely cut and dried, and that just figured.  It didn't surprise her at all that they'd have jumped on this one.

The cover page was nothing more than formality, introductions and a brief overview of the attorney's credentials and whatnot.  It was an intimidation factor, she supposed, one meant to let her know that they apparently thought that she was not up to the challenge of successfully representing Zel Roka.  Too bad that it wasn't going to work.

The second page, however, was much more interesting, as far as Valerie was concerned, and the gist of it drew a loud snort from her as she skimmed over the document.  Not surprisingly, it was an offer to drop all charges against Mr. Roka if he agreed to an out of court settlement, the terms to be discussed should Mr. Roka decide that it would be in his best interests to meet with them.

"Settlement," Valerie grumbled under her breath.  "That bastard doesn't deserve to get one red cent, one way or another."

Which was entirely true, but it didn't mean that she could ignore the offer, either.  Even if she didn't like the idea of paying Jass Martel anything at all, if it would get Evan out of trouble this time, she couldn't just discount it, either, even if the idea of him benefiting in any way from the situation ticked her off more and more whenever she really stopped to think about it.  There was still the case in New York City to think about, and any way she looked at it, tying everything up in a lot more legal red tape could be disastrous.

She sighed.  The last thing she wanted to do was to call Jass' attorney to arrange any kind of meeting, but she would, just as soon as she talked to Evan to see what he said about the idea of offering him a settlement to forestall any kind of charges being filed . . .


-Evan-


Flopping down on the sofa, Evan closed his eyes and let out a soft groan as the quiet of the hotel suite seemed to thicken in his ears.

It had been a damn long day.

The meeting with the festival bigwigs went about as well as he had expected.  They hadn't wanted to allow Evan's show to go on, of course—not surprising from old bastards who were trying to look hip despite their balding heads and their middle age spreads that looked truly laughable, hanging over the waistband of their faded jeans.  Hell, one of them had even attempted to wear a pair of black leather pants.  It was a painful sight to have been forced to see.

Mike had wanted him to pretend to be a little contrite for the fight that had caused all the uproar, in the first place.  He'd damn near blown an ass-gasket when Evan sat back, crossed his arms over his chest, grinned at those old farts, and told them, point blank, that he'd love to have Jass come up on stage with him so that he could beat the living, breathing shit out of him again, and this time, in front of the entire arena.

Suffice it to say that the coordinators weren't well pleased, and neither was ol' Mikey, proving yet again that he'd lost what little sense of humor he'd had a long, long time ago.

So after a few hours of staunch reprimands, grave admonishments, and otherwise pointless lectures that Evan tuned out after the first minute, the old fuckers had finally said what Evan had known all along: the show, of course, would go on.  Oh, he didn't doubt for a moment that if it were up to them, they'd fire him out of a cannon over the Pacific Ocean without a life raft, but they were just too damn scared of what would happen if they pulled his appearance, after all.  It wasn't surprising.  Rock fans didn't tend to be the most forgiving bunch on a whole, and given the exorbitant amount of scratch that they'd had to fork over just to see Evan's show . . . Well, refunding that much money would have put a serious dent into the festival on a whole, not to mention the mayhem that would have most likely broken loose if the show had been called.

'You know, you might think it's all a big joke now, but you don't really think that your father's going to find any amusement at all in any of it, do you?' his youkai asked rather wearily.

'Who the fuck cares what ol' Cain thinks?' he shot back hotly, blithely ignoring the hyperactive blinking of his cell phone, telling him that he really ought to check his messages.  He didn't doubt that most of the messages were from various friends and acquaintances, but he also didn't doubt that there were at least a couple calls from the big dog himself.  'Only gives a rat's ass when I do something that he doesn't like, anyway . . .'

'Sure, if that's what you really think,' his youkai shot back mildly.

'Besides, all he wants to do is blow some shit about how I shouldn't be beating on humans, blah blah blah, and to be frank, I don't much care to hear it, thanks.'

'Great, great.  If you know all that, then why don't you just go ahead and call him?  Get it over with, right?'

'Keh!'

As if in answer to his rebellious thoughts, the phone rang, and he sighed.  Somehow, he knew before he even touched it that it was the aforementioned father, and he made a face, knowing damn well what was coming as he hit the button to connect the call and lifted the receiver to his ear.  "Well, Cain, to what do I owe the delectation of actually drawing the notice of the oh-so-busy tai-youkai?"

"Cut the crap, Evan," Cain replied rather acerbically.  "Why don't you tell me what's going on?"

"Aw, come on," Evan drawled, stretching out and kicking his feet up onto the coffee table in an unnecessary show of bravado.  "You've read the papers, right?  I mean, you wouldn't be talking to me now if you hadn't."

"So you deliberately started a fight with a human for no good reason?" Cain challenged mildly.  "Is that right?"

"I had my reasons," Evan grumbled, feeling very much like a five year old who had just been caught getting into the cookie jar before dinner—or one of his father's cakes . . .

Cain didn't answer right away, almost like he was considering what Evan had said.  "So you did have a reason," he concluded after a lengthy silence.  "Okay.  I believe you."

Evan blinked, his waspish grin dissipating fast, only to be replaced by a thorough scowl.  "That's it?  No fucking lecture?"

This time, Cain sighed, and Evan didn't miss the tell-tale snick of a lighter.  "I trust you," he replied quietly, thoughtfully.  Cain hadn't smoked in months, and Evan knew that, too.  That he was lighting up now . . .

Deliberately ignoring the slight twinge of guilt—Cain only smoked when he was worried or upset about something—Evan didn't comment on that.  "Y-Yeah," he mumbled, brushing aside the misplaced feelings that lingered.

"Then that's what I'll tell the generals," Cain replied.

"Why do you have to tell them any-fucking-thing?" Evan couldn't resist goading.  "You're their boss, aren't you?"

"That's true, but even I have to tell them things from time to time.  It's not a big deal.  I trust you, and they trust me."

"Whatever.  Tell Mama I'll call her later."

"All right," Cain agreed.  "Let me know if you need anything."

The line went dead, and Evan shook his head as he hung up the phone.  The entire conversation was unsettling, wasn't it?  Since when did Cain 'trust' him, and even then . . .

"Fuck the generals," he muttered under his breath, flopping back against the sofa, closing his eyes as he breathed a long, low exhalation.  Start one little fight, and they think it's the end of the world . . . No wonder Cain smoked.  If Evan had to deal with that kind of bullshit, he'd probably do a hell of a lot worse than just light a cigarette now and then . . .

Of course, he'd drop dead before he said any such thing to Cain, but that was neither here nor there . . .

The door opened quietly and closed just as quietly, and he heard the muffled sigh seconds before the no-nonsense click of stack-heels echoed in the foyer, methodically coming closer then stopping short right inside the living room.  "So how'd it go?" she asked, her voice sounding tired—exhausted, really.

"Eh, no big thing," he replied without opening his eyes.  "Like they'd really cancel my gig."

She sighed again, the click of her heels on the floor sounding once, twice, only to be dulled when she stepped onto the plush rug.  "Well, I talked to that little bastard's attorney," she said without preamble, her tone indicating just what she thought of the meeting in general—or maybe it was the victim in particular.  "Seems like Justin will be more than happy to settle the matter out of court—for a price, of course, greedy little son of a bi—"

"No need to insult the dogs," Evan cut in with a rueful smile.  Sitting up slightly, he held out a hand to her, and though she looked like she wanted to argue with him, she rolled her eyes and took it, letting him tug her onto the sofa beside her.  "Tell him I'll fork over a few million if he meets me in a darkened alley somewhere."

That earned him a chagrined sort of look.  "It's not funny, Roka," she pointed out.  "He's asking for fifty million dollars."

Evan snorted.  "In his wet dreams," he muttered.

"That's pretty much what I said," she allowed with a shake of her head.  "I think I can talk him down . . ." She trailed off, her lip curling in a decisive snarl.  "It seemed like he wanted to barter."

Evan grinned at the slightly confused expression on her face, like she really couldn't believe she was talking in terms of millions of dollars like it was nothing at all, and while Evan wasn't exactly happy about the idea of handing the little fucker a damn dime, he couldn't rightfully say that he was all that sorry for having attacked him, in the first place.  "Tell him I'll give him ten and I promise not to humiliate him again if he goes and crawls under a rock to die."

The scowl she leveled at him should have sobered him up a little.  It didn't.  If anything, it actually amused him a little more.  "Damn it, Roka, we're talking about a lot of money here, and while I don't like the idea of giving him anything, the last thing—the very last thing—we want is for him to decide to press charges against you after all."

"I know, V; I know," he grumbled since they'd already gone over this before.  "Do whatever you have to do, but I don't want you anywhere near Jass Martel—do you hear me?"

"Too late," she replied with a weary shake of her head.  "Of course he didn't look exactly how I remembered . . . His face was a little swollen."

Not even that was enough to amuse Evan, and he narrowed his eyes as a rush of anger ignited deep inside him.  "Did he try to touch you?  Did he—?"

Rolling her eyes, she gave him a healthy shove to shut him up.  "Don't be stupid, Evan, and his attorney was right there!  If you didn't want me to talk to him or anything, then you should have thought about that before you decided to let your fists do the talking!"

"At least take someone else with you next time—Bone or Mikey—hell, even Maddy," Evan asserted.

Valerie snorted and shook her head stubbornly.  "I'm not the same teenage girl anymore, Roka!  I don't need to take anyone with me to deal with the likes of Justin Martel; do you hear me?"

He didn't like it, and it must have shown on his face because her eyes narrowed a little more.  He wasn't impressed.  "Not negotiable, V."

For a moment, he thought that she might actually hit him.  Then she sighed and shook her head, rubbing her face in a tired sort of way.  "What am I going to do with you?" she asked, her voice muffled by her hands.

Evan relented.  It bothered him to see her look so defeated.  It bothered him more than he cared to admit.  "Just stay away from him," he stated again, albeit in a much gentler tone.  "I don't care what the hell he wants—let him have it.  Just stay the hell away from him . . . please."


~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
A/N:
'Jailhouse< /i> Rock' originally appeared on Elvis Presley's 1957 movie of the same name.  Song written by and copyrighted to Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final
Thought from Valerie:
He thinks money grows on trees
==========
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 93
Chapter 95
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