InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Spontaneous ( Chapter 99 )

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

- OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia …'
'Up in my bedroom (making love) …'
'I got up to wash my face …'
'When I come back to bed …'
'Someone's taken my place …'

-'Cecelia' by Simon and Garfunkel.


Evan shook his head as he stepped out of the building a few minutes later, only to find the place where the car had been was completely and utterly empty.

'Damn . . . She totally ditched us,' his youkai voice pointed out, sounding entirely amused by the conspicuous lack of attorney that greeted him.

He grinned and chuckled softly.  'Damn straight, she did.'

'You think she'll keep the car?'

That question put an end to his laughter easily enough, mostly because he really wasn't too sure.  He'd like to think that she'd accept it as the gift that it was intended to be.  Damned if he'd stopped to think even for a second that she might actually refuse it because he hadn't.  No, he'd just thought that it would be the kind of thing that she'd love—the kind of thing that she wouldn't have ever bought for herself.  He knew that, didn't he?  She had a deep appreciation for the finer things in life, yet she still drove a very modest car that she kept because it still ran well despite being a few years old.  It was probably one that she'd gotten in college or law school, likely used, and tasteful even if it wasn't really flashy, and while Evan could appreciate that she didn't want to waste money, a woman like her deserved much better, and he meant to make sure that she knew it.

Then again, he should've realized that she'd balk at the gift, if, for no other reason, than the idea that Valerie Denning prided herself on being self-reliant, thrived on the fact that she relied on no one to do things for her that she could easily do for herself.  That included her ability to buy the things that she wanted, too, didn't it?

And if he wanted to be perfectly honest with himself, he'd have to admit that he loved that about her, too—adored the idea that she didn't need anyone to get where she wanted to be.  No, it was more that he wanted to be the one she allowed to help her; that was all.  If he could only get her to realize it, too, he'd be one step ahead of the game, wouldn't he?

Sinking down on the steps of the building, Evan pushed aside the deeper thoughts as he concentrated instead on the absolute wonder on her face as she had opened the gifts he'd given her one by one.  The sparkle in her hazel eyes, the pretty flush on her cheeks . . . Damn, but that woman really was something, and while she might know that she was drop dead gorgeous, he had a feeling that she really didn't quite comprehend exactly what kind of power she actually held over him.  God save him if she ever figured it out because if she ever decided to use it, he'd be belly-up in the water, so to speak.  Okay, so he would probably end up, having to apologize for teasing her with the idea that he'd actually take the other gifts back to the store since he had absolutely no intention of doing any such thing, but that was small potatoes, as far as he was concerned.  No, the main focus should be getting her to agree to keep the car.

As if in answer to his musings, the woman pulled back into the parking spot again and shot him a brilliant smile when she spotted him sitting on the steps.  Evan grinned back as he slowly got to his feet.  Judging by the grin on her face, he didn't figure he had too much work ahead of him . . .

"Taking off without me?" he drawled, holding out her shoes as he approached the car.  She hadn't shut it off.

"It was taking you too long," she countered, taking the shoes from him and leaning to the side to slip them on over her thick socks.  "Are you getting in or not?"

He chuckled and loped around the car, only to be stopped before he could actually get in.  "Wait!" she demanded suddenly, her gaze narrowing as she frowned at him.  "Are your shoes clean?"

He blinked at her a few moments before making a show of lifting each foot to inspect the bottoms.  "Just fine," he assured her with a quick wink.

She didn't look like she believed him entirely, and he laughed, but she did nod to indicate that she'd allow him in the car.  "So what'd you think?" he asked as he sat down and handed over her purse.

"Taking the car around the block was hardly a test drive," she pointed out as she checked over her shoulder and in the mirrors before pulling out of the parking spot again.  "I also noticed that you even had the foresight to set my stereo."

He grinned wolfishly since he had done that—complete with an entire Zel Roka anthology, too, which was what she was currently listening to now though much softer than he'd like.  He figured he could let that slide at the moment, considering he had bigger fish to fry, anyway.  "Oh," he said suddenly, fishing her cell phone out of his pocket, "I figured you'd want this."

"Thanks," she said as she stopped behind a cracker-box of a sports car at a red light.  "I'll have to figure out how to hook it into the car later . . ."

His grin widened, mostly at the implication that she actually would be keeping the car, though he had to wonder if she even realized what she'd said.  Leaning forward, he dropped the phone into the docking bay on the dashboard and pushed the button that would connect the device with the car via wireless connection.  A moment later, a soft beep indicated that the operation was complete, and he sat back.  "All done," he told her with a careless shrug.  "If you're on the phone, your speakers automatically change over to intercom."

"This car is amazing," she murmured, her fingers dancing lightly along the contour of the steering wheel.  Whether she realized she'd spoken out loud was arguable.  It was enough for Evan that she seemed to be completely enamored of the vehicle.  "The seat is heaven . . ."

"It was made just for you, you know," he pointed out reasonably.  "I mean, you can move the seat and all that, but the owner preset is customized to fit you and only you."

That earned him a curious glance before she turned her attention back to the road once more.  The light turned green, and she wrinkled her nose since she had to wait behind the sports car a moment longer than she wanted.  "How'd they manage that?" she asked.  "I didn't go in for that."

"Yeah, but you went shopping with Maddy, right?  That red dress?"


"Yeah, well, she told me what store you went to, I called and turned on the ol' 'Roka charm', and I had her pick up a copy of the stat sheet they keep on all their clients, complete with your measurements."

Valerie shot him a long stare.  "You're telling me that Madison was in on this?"

"Of course she was," Evan scoffed.  "I mean, hell, we were off in the middle of God only knows where when I ordered the car, so—"

"So you did know when my birthday is!" she interrupted triumphantly.  "You think you're so sneaky, don't you, Roka?"

"Well, I try."

She snorted and turned the corner, and while she didn't seem to have a real destination in mind as far as he could tell, she was heading toward the highway that led out of the city.  Before he could comment on that, however, her phone rang, and she glanced around to figure out how to answer it.  Evan chuckled and leaned over, making a show of pushing the button in the middle of the steering wheel that would answer it.  "Hello?" Valerie said, sparing a moment to give Evan a droll kind of glance.

"Hey, Val.  I didn't know if you'd be up yet . . ."

Evan gritted his teeth at the sound of that particular voice.  Maybe he had only met the man once, but it was more than enough to have embedded itself deep within his memory.  'Damned Merklin . . .'

"Oh, uh, y-yeah," Valerie agreed.  He could feel her gaze on his face, but didn't turn to verify it.  "Just doing a few things before I pick you up.  Are you on the plane?"

Marvin sighed.  "Well, um, that's why I was calling you.  You remember Grant Haviland, right?  I mean, I mentioned him to you before?"

"The Springfield Project director . . .?"

"Yeah!  That's him," Marvin said, obviously pleased that Valerie remembered this 'Grant Haviland'.  Evan stifled the urge to snort.  "Anyway, I was at that party last night, and he mentioned that he and a few of the other board members were going to get together this weekend at the Chicago Golf Club.  He said that they were really interested in hearing more about my research, and kind of hinted that they might be interested in underwriting some of the costs . . ."

'Un-fucking-believable!  That little nutsack is gonna ditch her?  On her goddamned birthday?  Chicago Golf Club?  Well, at least I know where the little bastard is . . .'

Evan's gaze darkened though he was careful to keep his expression otherwise blanked since he knew damn well that Valerie kept glancing at him, probably worried that he was going to say something rude.  "O-oh," she said in a falsely bright tone that Evan could see right through.  "That's fantastic," she went on.  "You think they'll really underwrite you?"

Marvin chuckled, apparently relieved that Valerie seemed to be accepting of the idea that he—her fucking fiancé, for Christ's sake—was going to blow her off on her birthday.  "I hope so," he remarked a little reluctantly.  "Never mind about that, though.  Happy birthday."

"Thanks," she said quietly.

"I . . . I'm really sorry," Marvin muttered slowly.

"Don't worry about it," Valerie replied.  "This is a good opportunity for you, isn't it?  Besides, it's just a birthday—another year older.  Big . . . Big deal."

Grimacing inwardly, Evan had to grind his teeth together hard to keep from making a comment at that.  If Marvin couldn't hear the obvious upset in her tone, then he was even denser than Evan already believed him to be.  Damn him . . .

"You're great, Val, you know," Marvin said instead, much to Evan's growing irritation.  "Maybe you can find someone to take out to dinner with you or something."

"Y-Yeah," Valerie agreed.

"Oh, my cab's here, so I'd better get going.  Happy birthday, and thanks," he hurried to add almost like an afterthought.

"Bye," Valerie replied just before the connection died.  Then she sighed but didn't say anything as she flicked on the turn signal and pulled into the empty parking area outside a gas station and shifted the vehicle into 'park'.

He desperately wanted to tell her exactly what he thought of Valerie's so-called fiancé's laissez-faire attitude, but one glance at the trepidation in the depths of her gaze was enough to curb that desire right nicely, and he sighed.  "Now aren't you glad that I got nothing on the agenda today?" he asked baldly instead.

Valerie blinked and dared a peek at him out of the corner of her eye.  "Is that right?"

Forcing a grin, he nodded slowly.  "That's right."

She made an exaggerated display of rolling her eyes, but he could feel the tension ebb out of her, and that was good enough, as far as he was concerned.  "So what do you suggest?"

His grin widened.  "Well, you can't really get a good feel for this car, driving around the city, can you?"

She considered that for a moment, but finally nodded.  "I suppose . . ."

"So take her out somewhere so you can open her up a little."

For a moment, Evan thought that she'd argue with him on general principle.  Suddenly, however, she turned to face him, a wide smile adding a brilliance to her gaze that made his breath catch in his throat somewhere between his lips and his lungs, and the result was entirely debilitating, really, culminating in a light-headedness that nearly made him groan.

"In my pajamas, Roka?" she asked, arching an eyebrow as she giggled softly.  "I haven't even gotten dressed yet."

He grinned.  Considering her idea of 'pajamas' was baggy sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt, he had to admit that she didn't look too bad—if it were even possible for a woman like Valerie Denning to look bad at all, and Evan kind of didn't really think that it was . . . "Fuck, woman.  You're still an eight on the ol' Boneometer even in the pajamas," he remarked.

The other eyebrow lifted, too.  "An eight?  Only an eight?  And how would I improve upon that ranking?"

Evan's grin took on a devilish tilt as he let his gaze slowly wander down her body and back up once more.  "Shake those tits at me, V, and we'll see how much of an improvement you get."

She rolled her eyes but giggled.  "I figured it'd be something like that," she said.  "You're such a pig.  Why are you such a pig?"

"I dunno, V.  Why were you in my bushes?"

Valerie blinked and stared at him for a moment, her confusion quite evident in her gaze.  It took her a few seconds for her to actually figure out what he was talking about, and when she did, she snorted loudly and slapped his chest with the back of her hand.  "You're such a dork!  You can't still bring that up, you know!"

"Oh, I totally can," he shot back with a chuckle, catching her hand when she tried to smack him again and neatly planting a kiss on her knuckles.  "Silly woman.  Don't you know the rules of the game?"

"It's a game?" she demanded, tugging on her hand to gain her freedom but giving up after a few token attempts.  "You never told me, so, no, I don't."

"Well, basically, I can and will ask you that question until the end of time—or until a better one occurs to me," he informed her.

She snorted again.  "That game sucks," she insisted.  "Ever hear the phrase 'beating a dead horse'?"

His devilish grin took on a more lecherous air.  "I got something you can beat, baby."

Pulling her hand away, she shifted the car into gear again and headed out of the parking lot.  "Save it for the jury, Roka."

He replied with a deep laugh.  Something about the idea of spending the entire day with Valerie . . . Yeah, he had to admit that he liked it.  A lot.


Sparing a surreptitious glance out of the corner of her eye at Evan, Valerie pressed her lips together to keep from laughing outright.  It wasn't the first time that he'd told her he had to make an 'emergency call' to Mike for whatever reason—like she believed that.  No, she had a feeling that he was up to something; she just didn't know what that 'something' was.

Buzzing up the coast on their return trek from the day of what Evan had called 'bumming around', Valerie had to admit that she'd had more fun, just hanging out and driving around with the errant rock star than she might have had otherwise.  Why was it that she could say anything—anything—to him, and he seemed to understand?  And he'd behaved himself remarkably well for the most part, except when he had tried to get her to let him drive, that was.  Still, he'd only wanted to pick on her, she knew, so that wasn't such a big deal, anyway.

She had to admit, she'd had a good time thus far.

"Sorry 'bout that, V," he said as he snapped his phone closed and dropped it into the cup holder between the seats.  "Life of a rock god.  What can you do?"

She rolled her eyes and adjusted the cheap sunglasses he'd bought her in a gas station where they'd stopped to get coffee about half an hour into their trip: burnt orange with very large mirror finished smoked-glass lenses . . . Evan's were neon green with Canus Arcanus, the leader of the popular cartoon series, The Dog Squad, molded onto the corners.  "A rock god wearing cheap plastic sunglasses that were made for a child?" she deadpanned.

He grinned.  "Don't diss Canus," he told her.  "The Dog Squad is almost as cool as the Power Puppies."

"You say that like you've watched it before," she remarked.

Evan chuckled and fiddled with the radio station presets.  "I'm a huge fan," he confessed.  "I did a guest voice spot on the Christmas special last year."

She glanced at him and shook her head.  "Zel Roka on The Dog Squad?"

He laughed, apparently seeing just as much humor in that idea as she did.  "No . . . Evan Zelig did it."

Shaking her head, she drew a deep breath, enjoying the brisk wind that tossed her hair despite the fact that they'd put the roof back up a while ago.  Evan had then opened up the sunroof, and even though the windows were down, she wasn't nearly as cold as she might have been had the seats not been quite toasty.  It was remarkable, really.  The Luminesta was such a quiet car that she could hear the vague sounds of the fall afternoon—those ambient tones that were easy to forget or ignore.  At least, she could hear them when Evan messed around with the radio, anyway . . .

No doubt about it, Valerie loved the car.  Evan had counted on that, hadn't he?  He'd figured that she'd never be able to give it up if he could talk her into test driving it, and he'd been right in the end.  She wanted to keep the car, even if she knew that she just couldn't.

"So . . ." Evan drawled, interrupting her musings, "what are your plans for the evening?"

That earned him a slow stare, mostly because he knew damn well that she didn't have anything planned, but her giggle a moment later efficiently ruined the effect she was going for.  "Oh, well, you know, I thought I'd jet off to Spain, have some dinner at some small, remote establishment, and be home in time for work Monday morning . . ."

"Well, fuck, that sounds better than what I was thinking," he said with a grin.  "You planning on taking me with you?"

"Are you kidding?  Why would I do a fool thing like that?" she shot back.  "With my luck, you'd end up doing something to get yourself arrested, and then I'd have to deal with that instead of enjoying my getaway."

Evan chuckled.  "And if I promised to behave myself?"

"No way, Roka," she went on, fluttering her hand in a thoroughly dismissive kind of way.  "Unless you can think of something better, it's Spain or bust, big boy."

"That right?  You'll consider it if I can come up with something else to do?"

Slapping his hand lightly when he reached for the stereo yet again, Valerie nodded.  "It depends on what you have in mind—and it had better not involve your genitalia in any way, shape, or form."

He considered that for a moment then opened his mouth.

"Or mine, either," she added before he could get the words out.

"Da-a-a-amn!" he complained.  "Take all the fun out of it, why don't you, Val?"

"Suck it up, Roka.  Pouting isn't the least bit 'sexy' or 'rock', just so you know," she shot back, opting to ignore the obnoxious way he'd said her nickname—or at least, the nickname that Marvin used for her, anyway.

"Figures you'd say that, woman," he went on, the 'pout' in his tone growing thicker by the moment.  "You're just my 'Cecelia'."

She wrinkled her nose and shook her head.  "And what's that supposed to mean?" she demanded as she slowed down and pulled the car into an abandoned parking lot just off an equally deserted beach.  She thought that they were back in Connecticut though it was entirely possible that they were still in Rhode Island . . .

"'Celia, you're breaking my heart . . .'
'You're shaking my confidence daily . . .'
'Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees . . .'
'I'm begging you please to come home . . .'

'Celia, you're breaking my heart . . .'
'You're shaking my confidence daily. . .'
'Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees. . .'
'I'm begging you please to come home . . .'
'Come on home . . .'"

She considered that and nodded slowly.  "I've heard that song before," she allowed.  "And that makes it sound like I'm sucking the soul right out of you," she added almost as an afterthought.

Evan grinned and opened the passenger side door when she pulled to a stop and killed the engine.  "I wouldn't say that . . . and if that's what you're doing, then I gotta say, I don't seem to mind it too much . . ."

Valerie spared a moment to lock the car after she got out, too, and she shot Evan a droll stare over the hood before rolling her eyes and heading for the empty stretch of beach.  There was a sign that said that the area was closed to swimming for the winter, which was fine, in her estimation.  Sitting on a weathered strip of lumber long enough to pull off her shoes and socks, Valerie pushed up the cuffs of her sweatpants and waited for Evan to catch up with her.

He hadn't bothered to take off his boots.  In fact, he seemed to be inspecting the car before he finally made his way over to her.  Grin widening as he reached her side, he grabbed her hand and tugged her along behind him down toward the water through the cool sand.  "Twenty-eight, huh?" he drawled, grinning over his shoulder at her.

His eyes were the same shade as the fissure where the water met the air on the distant horizon—the barest delineation where the color of the water was somehow darkened just before it met the gray-blue sky . . .

Forcing her gaze away, Valerie swallowed hard, wondering absently if Evan could hear the hammering of her heart.  She sincerely hoped that he couldn't.

"I was wondering if you were feeling up to a small party," he finally ventured, lifting his face toward the heavens, letting the breeze ripple through his hair.  "Not Spain or anything, but . . ."

She heard herself laugh.  It sounded a little strained, a little weak.  "Hmm, it might be okay," she remarked.  "I'll just do Spain some other time."

His grin turned wolfish, and he squeezed her hand.  "You really want to go to Spain sometime?" he asked.

A slight mist off the ocean hit her full in the face, and she smiled.  "I don't know," she allowed with a little shrug.  "I've always wanted to see the world . . ." Dragging in a deep breath, she laughed softly.  "When I was in high school, we had to make a list of the things we wanted to do before we died.  I don't even remember what class it was for; I just remember that I wrote down that I wanted to step foot on every continent on earth—well, maybe not Antarctica . . ."

Evan chuckled and stopped long enough to pick up a shell that was half-buried in the sand.  "Sounds like a pretty nice goal," he agreed.

"What are you doing with that?" she asked, nodding her head at the shell in his hand.

Valerie blinked when Evan's cheeks pinked slightly, as that boyish little half-smile touched his lips.  "It's, uh, for Mama," he admitted at length in a tone that made her wonder if he thought that maybe she was going to tease him.  "The old man—"

"Old man?  Your father?" she cut in.

Evan snorted.  "Hardly.  Cain's just Cain.  There's only one 'old man' and that's my grandfather—Mama's father."

She didn't quite get it.  "Isn't that kind of disrespectful?"

He snorted again.  "Keh!  'Disrespectful' to him would be to call him anything else."

She didn't quite understand that one, but it appeared to make perfect sense to Evan.  "I . . . see . . ."

"Anyway, the old man used to bring her shells when she was little, you see . . . I mean, he still does whenever he sees her, but . . . but I always thought that it was kind of sweet, how happy she was whenever anyone gave her one of these . . ."

Biting her lip, Valerie digested that in silence, daring a peek at him out of the corner of her eyes.  The hint of a flush hadn't dissipated, and she smiled inwardly.  It was extraordinary, wasn't it?  That Evan could be quite charming and entirely sweet was something that she'd known of course.  Too bad he tended to hide that part of himself.  The moments when he let his guard down completely?  Those times when he allowed her to see past the glittering façade that he'd so carefully constructed all of his life . . . when he was nothing more than a little boy who so desperately wanted to please those whom he loved . . .

"That's really sweet," she said, her voice low, almost reluctant, as though she were afraid that he'd scoff at her assessment.

He grunted, his blush darkening just a touch though he didn't try to argue with her.  No, he simply let out a deep breath and continued to stroll along the shoreline with her . . .

Valerie sighed.  If she kept up with the current conversation, she was only going to make him retreat behind a wall of acerbic comments and outrageous talk, and she knew it.  It was his M.O., so to speak.

Evan, however, seemed ready to change the topic—or at least, to revisit the one that he hadn't finished contemplating.  "So how many continents have you made it to, anyway?"

Wrinkling her nose since her answer wasn't all that impressive, she waved a hand dismissively.  "One," she said in a careless sort of way.  "I'll get to the others, though, eventually."

"You will," he agreed.  Then he laughed.  "Maddy and I talked about that kind of shit before.  She said she wanted to bone a guy on every continent on earth—including Antarctica."

Valerie rolled her eyes but giggled.  Somehow, that sounded like a Madison kind of answer.  "I'll bet she did."

Evan chuckled.  "It's just spreading the love."

She snorted but didn't disagree with him.  Leave it to Madison Cartham to come up with something like that . . . "What about you?"

His amusement died away, and he frowned slightly as he stared off into the distance.  "Me?  That's easy.  I just want to see the Northern Lights."

"The Northern Lights?"

He nodded.  "Yep."

"Why those?"

Shrugging offhandedly, he made a face—not really a bad one, but one that seemed more thoughtful than anything else.  "I don't know why, exactly.  Guess that they always seemed kind of mysterious or something.  Anyway, I just thought that they sounded cool when I first learned about them, right?  So I figure that it'd be a good thing to see some time."

He really was a dreamer, wasn't he?  She knew that, sure.  Musicians in general tended to be that way, but Evan . . . he lived those dreams through his music.  Somehow, he'd learned how to harness the power of those dreams into a viable form, even if that form only held for the length of a single song . . . "I think you'll see them, then," she stated in a tone that left no room for discussion.

He nodded again then suddenly grinned at her—that cocky, rock star grin that she knew a little too well.  "C'mon, V," he said, turning around, pulling her along with him as his grip on her hand tightened.  "You're getting cold, aren't you?  Time to get Cinderella back to the city.  'Sides . . . don't want your party to start without you, now do you?"

Valerie giggled and tugged on his hand to speed him up just a little.  "Well, if I'm the guest of honor, then it'd be pretty bad if I was late," she allowed, pulling the key card out of her pocket and hitting the remote ignition control.  "Last one to the car is a rotten egg!"

With that, she let go of his hand and broke into a sprint.  Evan laughed and let her have a few seconds' head start before barreling after her . . .

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
Laisses-fai re: French term meaning 'let do' or more loosely, 'to allow to do' … while most often used in regards to certain governmental practices, this phrase can often be used to convey a lackadaisical outlook on certain practices or beliefs.

'Cecelia' originally appeared on Simon and Garfunkel's 1970 release, Bridge over Trouble Waters.  Song written by and copyrighted to Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and Roy Halee.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Kynkii ------ AtamaHitoride ------ theblackthorn ------ iloveanimecartoons ------ anime_game_lover ------ mynera ------ fanfic7inu ------ monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ Nozome ------ Dark Inu Fan ------ CatLover260 ------ Titiana ------ Tashwampa
indigorrain ----- sueroxmysox ------ cutechick18 ------ Midcat ------ Zero
Thought from Valerie:
The Northern Lights …?
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.

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