InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Goodbyes ( Chapter 112 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter One Hundred Twelve ~~


'So kiss me and smile for me
'Tell me that you'll wait for me
'Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cuz I'm leaving on a jet plane
'Don't know when I'll be back again …'

-'Leaving on a Jet Plane' by John Denver.


"Swear to me that you're going to behave yourself over the holiday, Roka, and I mean it."

"I swear that I'll try not to get into trouble over the holiday, V," he replied.

She wasn't impressed with his answer.  "Oh, no.  I want you to swear that you will behave, not that you'll try to behave."

"Mama always said never to make promises you're not positive you can keep," he told her with a grin.

"Your mama said that," Valerie repeated dubiously.

The grin on his face widened.  "Well, no, but I never really listened to Cain too much."

Rolling her eyes, she plopped down on the side of the bed beside the suitcase that Evan was packing for his impending trip to Maine for Christmas.  "Sweaters?" she queried, frowning as she leaned to the side to inspect the things that Evan was packing.  "You wear sweaters?"

Evan chuckled.  "Do you have any idea how frigging cold it is in Maine this time of year?"

"Yeah, but the idea of seeing you in sweaters is just too funny," she countered with an impish smile.

Evan reached out and tweaked the end of Valerie's nose.  "You hate the cold, don't you?  So why in the hell are you going skiing?"

"It's not that cold if you're moving," she pointed out.

"Yeah, but you could go skiing in Maine, too," he said.  "There are some great areas up there, right?  In fact, there's a pretty good spot on Cain's property.  It's where I learned how to ski."

"Ah, but I'm not going to be in Maine.  I'm going to be in Vermont," she reminded him.  "Racing down the hills with the wind whipping through my hair—"

"Hard to do when you're wearing a ski cap."

"Feeling the invigoration of the snow and the crisp clean air—"

"That's just gas."

"Reveling in the awe of the breathtaking view as I ride the ski lift—"

"To the top of the bunny slope.  Thirty second ride.  Nice."

"Relaxing in front of a roaring fire at the end of the day with a warm blanket and—"

Evan snorted, heading for the closet to grab a few more things.  "And a doofus named Dorkvin."

"That's right," she said, arching forward as she reached above her head and stretched.  "Cuddling by the fire after a long day of skiing . . . maybe some wine, some soft music . . ." Heaving a very content sigh, Valerie looked like the cat that ate the canary.  "Sounds very romantic, doesn't it?"

He chuckled and grabbed a few pairs of thick wool socks from the dresser in the walk-in closet.  "Yeah, sure, except for one thing," he remarked as he strode back into the bedroom and tossed the socks into the suitcase.

"Hmm, what's that?"

"You'll be there with Arwin."

She grunted and tossed a neatly folded sock ball at him.  "You're such a jerk," she pointed out.  "Marvin is a very good man, and I'll have you know that he can be very romantic sometimes."

"I'm sure he can be," Evan replied.

She made a face at the sarcasm that was thick in his tone.  "How can you not like him?" she demanded suddenly.  "You don't really know him."

He stopped and stared at her, his expression as blank as he could manage.  "Are you kidding me?"  Shaking his head quickly, he held up a hand to stop her before she could get wound up.  "Seriously, are you kidding me?  You think I need to know him to know that he is a complete and utter douchebag?  Come on, V."

The storm clouds were rolling in; Evan could see them forming behind the façade of those hazel eyes.  "You don't know anything, Roka," she scoffed.

"The hell I don't," he shot back in a deceptively soft voice.  "Fuck, woman.  You were out, running around the United States with me for weeks, and you never called him—he never called you."  Shaking his head, he leaned back on his heels, his gaze unfaltering as he watched her, as he tried to make sense of just what she was thinking.  "Did you ever tell him?  That you were with me?"

A fleeting flicker of something in her eyes just before she closed it away, too fast for him to discern it.  "We don't have that kind of relationship, Evan," she said in a strangely weary kind of tone.

Dropping to his knees on the floor before her, Evan grasped her hands, willed her to look at him.  The guarded expression in her eyes tore at him—an expression he hadn't seen in weeks, maybe months . . . That same old thing, the lingering remains of demons that haunted her: demons that were as real to her as anything he'd ever touched in his lifetime . . . "Then tell me, V," he implored quietly.  "Tell me why you'd wait for him.  What is he to you?"

She seemed surprised by his question.  The reluctance in her gaze slowly dimmed, faded.  He wasn't sure what she thought he was going to ask.  As she let her eyes move over his face, as the slow realization that he really wasn't trying to antagonize her sank in, she shook her head so slightly that he had to wonder if she even knew that she'd done it.  "He . . . He's what I need," she admitted quietly.  The tone of her voice . . . she was trying to make him understand, wasn't she?  Asking him to understand . . . "What I . . . I need . . ."

"What you need," he repeated quietly.  "Is that what you think?  Do you think that life is about finding what you need and settling for it?"

Her frown was full of frustration, complete chagrin. "I'm not settling for anything," she said.  "He's a good man—he's got integrity, honor, compassion . . ." Shaking her head, she gave him an imploring sort of look.  "He allows me to be who I am, Evan, and maybe you don't understand what I see in him, but you don't have the right to judge him, either."

"There's a difference between allowing you to be who you are and only being around when it's convenient for him," Evan pointed out.  "We're not talking about some business relationship here.  We're talking about a man you say you're going to marry.  Look, I'm not even saying that it has to be me, Valerie.  Just not him."

Letting go of her hands, he pushed himself to his feet and turned away from her, rubbing his forehead as he fought to get a grip on his rioting emotions.  If she'd just listen to him, but she wouldn't . . . Maybe she wasn't ready to hear what he had to say, and that was okay, wasn't it?  He'd get to her eventually, somehow . . .

She didn't say anything while he finished packing.  Lost in her own thoughts, she seemed to have forgotten that he was even there.

'Maybe it's better that you're going home for Christmas.  Maybe having some time apart will be good for both of you . . .'

He wasn't inclined to agree.  It wasn't so much that they'd be apart as much as it bothered him that she'd be with that guy.  She didn't love him, and Evan knew that she didn't.  Somehow, though, she'd managed to convince herself that she needed him, which was entirely ridiculous.  She needed Marvin Pinkle about as much as she needed a bullet in her brain.

And telling himself just why she felt that way didn't really help, either.  It was one thing to be understanding about the whole thing.  It was definitely another to convince himself time and again that he only had to be patient . . .

'Yeah, but she'll be worth it.'

Glancing at her where she still sat on the edge of the bed, Evan smiled a little sadly.  'Yeah,' he thought, forcing himself to turn away, to grab a couple pairs of shoes that he was planning on taking with him, 'yeah, she is . . .'


"Look, I'm not even saying that it has to be me, Valerie.  Just not him."

Biting her lip as she stared at her hands, Valerie couldn't help but hear Evan's voice repeating itself over and over again in her head.

What was it about his words that had bothered her so profoundly?  Easy to say that it was the same stuff she'd come to expect from him, but . . .

But it wasn't, was it?

The emotion that had darkened the color of his eyes?  The understated feeling that had inflected his voice with a rawness, a harshness, that she couldn't quite credit?  Something . . . something . . .

'That's . . . That's crazy,' she told herself, sounding a lot less sure of herself than she might have liked.  It almost sounded like he . . .

Slamming the door on those thoughts before they could completely form in her mind, Valerie tried to shake off Evan's words before she could overanalyze them.

Still . . .

Shaking herself out of her musings, Valerie lifted her chin, only to stop short when she spotted Evan, leaning in the open doorway of the closet, his eyes bright, searching, as though he were trying to figure out just what she was thinking.  That didn't give her pause, no.  It was the other emotion there, the one that she couldn't place.  He wasn't smiling, but he didn't have to.  There was a certain friendly warmth there—a completely non-threatening sort of expression that still made her belly flop over on itself . . .

"W-Why are you staring at me like that?" she demanded, her eyes trained on his.  Why didn't he look away?  Why didn't he blink?

"Like what?" he asked, his voice soft, melodic, like he was in some sort of weird trance.

She swallowed hard, shook her head almost imperceptibly, struggling to make herself look away, only to find that she couldn't.  "L-Like that," she said, her voice as listless as her body.  Somehow he'd managed to completely disarm her without moving at all?  But how?

Letting his arms drop, he pushed himself away from the frame with his shoulder as he turned away to grab something off the shelf beside him.  "Don't know what you're talking about, woman," he told her, his voice muffled.

Even with his eyes off her, it took her a minute to get her senses back under control.  Letting out a deep breath, she stood up, smoothing her blouse over her hips and clearing her throat almost nervously.  "You look pretty busy, so I'll leave you to finish packing," she said, shaking her head, averting her gaze as she started toward the door.

"Uh, V, wait!" he called after her.

She didn't stop as she hurried down the hallway and toward the stairs.  She wasn't entirely sure what had just passed between the two of them, but she was sure that she needed desperately to get out of there.

Grabbing her coat, attaché case, and purse that she'd carelessly dropped on a chair in the living room, she'd almost made it out the front door when Evan caught her arm and pulled her back.  "Hold on; hold on," he told her with a warm chuckle.  "Where are you going to be staying in Vermont?"

She opened her mouth to answer him then snapped it closed again as her eyes narrowed dangerously.  "Why?"

"I need to know so I can send your presents out there," he explained with an entirely too-innocent expression on his face.

"Hmm, you look like hot butter wouldn't melt in your mouth, Roka.  You think you're going to show up there and ruin my vacation, don't you?" she demanded.

Evan blinked and looked duly insulted.  "Of course not, V!  In fact, that idea hadn't occurred to me at all—damn it . . ."

She snorted.  "Spare me."


"Why don't you just give me the presents now?"

Evan rolled his eyes and shot Valerie a knowing look.  "Because it's not Christmas yet, and you'd open them about the second you walked out the door."

"Oh, I will not!" she scoffed, crossing her arms over her chest rather mulishly, mostly because she probably would do that . . . 'No, I wouldn't,' she argued to herself.  'I'd wait till I was in the car at least . . .'

"And why would I give you your present when you don't seem to have one for me?" he demanded, cocking an eyebrow.

"Who says I didn't?" she countered.  "Maybe I did.  You don't know."

The other eyebrow lifted.  "Did you?"

"I did," she replied.

He looked like he didn't rightfully believe her, and she rolled her eyes, digging into her attaché case for the smallish, long box that she'd painstakingly wrapped the night before.  Decked out in burnished silver paper and festooned with iridescent ribbons, she was quite proud of the effect, especially since she'd never actually tried to wrap a present before.  That's what customer service was for, wasn't it?

"Here," she said, extending the gift but refusing to let go when he tried to take it.  "Ah-ah, Roka.  Where's mine?"

He chuckled and heaved a sigh as he shook his head, but turned on his heel and marched off toward the Christmas tree that she'd helped him set up last week.  Situated near the fireplace but not close enough to be a hazard, the huge evergreen still smelled of the forest, of the air.  Pulling two gifts from under the tree, he stood up and turned around, only to find her standing right behind him.  "Merry Christmas, V," he said, holding out the presents.

She smiled and handed him the gift she'd bought him.  In truth, she wasn't entirely sure that he'd like it, but she'd really tried to find something special.  He curled his fingers, ready to rip into it.  Valerie's hand shot out to stop him.  "You've got to wait until Christmas," she blurted, unable to staunch the flow of blood that exploded under her skin.  She didn't want to see his face when he lied about liking the present she bought for him, and somehow, she just knew that he would . . .

He looked somewhat surprised at that.  "You don't want me to open it in front of you?" he queried.

She shrugged.  "A-Aren't you going to call me on Christmas?" she asked, hoping she sounded more convincing than she thought she did.

"But you're going on your 'romantic getaway' with Edwin," he reminded her, making air-quotes with his free hand to emphasize his point.

She rolled her eyes at the latest choice of names and waved a hand dismissively.  "Yeah, but it's Christmas."

For a moment, he looked a little exasperated, but the expression disappeared quickly enough that she had to wonder if she'd actually seen it at all.  Then he smiled and nodded.  "All right," he agreed, setting the present on the fireplace mantle, "but you'd better answer your phone."

Letting out a deep breath, she smiled brightly and nodded.  "Be careful on your trip up to Maine," she admonished as she turned to go.

"You, too," he replied, following her through the house and to the front door again.

She sighed as she retrieved her things and reached for the door handle.  Before she could open it, though, he reached out, pulled her against his chest, kissed her forehead as he hugged her tight.  "Merry Christmas, V," he said softly, his lips still lingering on her skin.

She blinked at the sudden and close proximity—close enough to register the clean smell of him . . . Close enough to feel the beat of his heart against her cheek.  "M-Merry Christmas, Evan," she replied, and before she could talk herself out of it or think about it too hard, she leaned against him, pushing herself up, kissing his cheek before she grabbed the handle of the door and pulled it open.


'Five . . . four . . . three . . . two . . .'

'Oh, she's so going to kill you, dead . . .'

Evan crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back against the table across from the door in the foyer of his home and grinned.  '. . . One.'

His smile didn't falter, but he did blink.  'Odd . . .'

'That is odd,' his youkai-voice agreed.  'Maybe she didn't look—"

And then the door slammed open, smacking the wall so hard that it bounced back with just as much force.  Valerie was saved from being struck, however, by an outstretched hand, and when she spotted Evan, she strode into the house once more.  If she could have smitten him on the spot, she would have.  As it was, her arm was a blur of motion as she wailed him on the chest instead.  "You're beyond a jerk!" she growled.  "I should have known!"

"Something wrong, baby?" he deadpanned, holding up an arm to keep her from walloping him over the head and entirely unable to keep the idiotic grin off his face in the process.

"What the hell is this?" she demanded, smacking a large, fat paperback book against his chest.

He laughed.  He couldn't help himself.  "Hey!  That's for Beetle Bailey!" he protested, turning his head and shielding his face when she decided that the book would be a much better weapon than her empty hand.  "You weren't supposed to open his present!"

She snorted and smacked him a couple more times in quick succession.  "I know," she told him, "which is why I opened it!"

"I was trying to do you a favor," he pointed out in a reasonable tone despite the laughter that was so difficult to restrain.

"Oral Sex for Dummies?" she shot back.  "You are so not funny!"

Just hearing her say the title out loud was more than enough to make him howl with laughter.  Big mistake, really, and she beat on him some more.  "C'mon, V," he managed between guffaws, "I did it for you!"

"How—do—you—figure?" she demanded, smacking him between words to emphasize her point.

"You're the one who said that you've never had an orgasm!" he replied.

Unleashing a loud, frustrated growl, Valerie dropped the book on the table and glowered at him, hands on hips, a livid flush suffusing her cheeks, lending her eyes a heightened glow.  "I will have you know that Marvin doesn't need that book," she informed him haughtily, her chin lifting a notch to give credence to her lie.

He straightened up though his grin didn't diminish.  "Baby, if he ever ate you out, you'd have had a fucking orgasm," he told her smugly.

Her cheeks reddened even more, and she snorted indelicately.  "You're disgusting," she pointed out.

"Because I eat pussy?" he countered.

"No, because you're a jerk!"  Glowering at him for a long moment, she suddenly smiled—a very calculated smile that amused him even more.  "You know something, Roka?"

"What's that, baby?"

Rolling her eyes, she slowly shook her head.  "I'm not your baby," she said in a deceptively pleasant tone of voice.  Then she heaved a huge sigh, pacing the floor before him, rubbing her hands together in an idle kind of way that he recognized from her usual courtroom bravado.  "I can't wait to meet Marvin . . . Maybe we won't go skiing at all.  Maybe we'll just spend the whole time making love in front of a fireplace, over and over and over again . . ."

He chuckled good naturedly at her pathetic attempt to irritate him.  "Except you're talking about Chief Limp Dick," he reminded her.  "If he can get it up more than . . . two—maybe three—times in a twenty-four hour period, I'll go without sex for a year."

"Oh, like you could do it that often, either," she scoffed.

"Oh, I could."

"You could not," she countered, "and even if you could, it wouldn't matter.  Everyone knows that pretty boys like you are the most selfish lovers on earth."

His grin widened.  "You think I'm pretty?"

Snorting at the hopeful tone in his voice, she shook her head.  "You have trouble focusing, don't you, Roka?"

Reaching out, he grabbed her hand, tugged her toward him, drawing her into his arms, flush against his chest.  She gasped softly, blinking as she met his gaze, as she was caught as quickly, as easily as a breath, as a gust of wind.  He didn't look away as he turned her, maneuvered her, pinned her against the wall.  "I'd be happy to show you how many times I can get it up in twenty-four hours," he rumbled.

"E-Evan . . ."

He wasn't sure if she was asking him to let her go or inviting him.  The bemusement in her gaze was thick, her lips quivering as she drew a stuttering breath.  So close that he could see the erratic pulse fluttering in her throat, it was all he could do not to kiss her.  "Yes, V?"

"I-I . . ."

"Just say the word, V, and I'll be yours forever," he murmured as he leaned in, as he rubbed his cheek against hers.

"And . . . what's your idea . . . of forever . . .?" she breathed, her eyes fluttering closed, her body soft, acquiescent in his arms.

"Whatever you want it to be," he said.

Her answer was a sharp inhalation, a long, gentle sigh.  Head falling to the side, she didn't fight him at all when his lips dropped to the uneven pulse in her throat.  The salty balm of her skin was a jolt to his senses as the richness of her scent permeated every last corner of his mind.  When he flicked out his tongue to taste her, she moaned quietly, her body shuddering against his, her hands rising to clutch his shoulders.

He was balancing on the very precipice between reason and desire, and the slightest thing might well send him careening right over that edge.

Suddenly, though, Valerie pushed at him, bracing herself against the wall, shoving at his shoulders.  When he finally managed to step back, she refused to meet his gaze, her eyes carefully trained to the side on the floor.  Cheeks still flushed, an air of confusion hanging around her, she wrapped her arms over her stomach in a purely protective kind of way.

A slow and steady sense of regret began to gnaw at his gut.  He couldn't resist her, damn it . . . The invisible draw was just too strong.  "V . . ."

Uttering a terse laugh that sounded somehow sadder than it should have, Valerie tucked a long strand of hair behind her ear and pushed herself away from the wall.  "Have a nice vacation, Evan," she said, her voice huskier than normal, a little shaky.  "I, uh . . . I need to get going . . ."

Words seemed to be beyond him as he watched her hurry past him, as she fumbled with the door handle, and though she seemed serene enough on the outside, he could sense the rawness of her nerves, could see the slight tremor in her hands.

Before she slipped out the door, however, she stopped, turning slightly, managing a weak smile.  "I'll . . . I'll see you after the holidays," she said.  "Goodbye."

Letting out a deep breath as the door clicked softly behind her, Evan slumped against the wall and closed his eyes.

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Leaving on a Jet Plane' originally appeared on Peter, Paul, and Mary's 1967 release, Album 1700.  Song written by and copyrighted to John Deutschendorf, Jr (aka John Denver).
== == == == == == == == == ==
mynera ------ darkangel05 ------ monkeyseemonkeynodo ------ OROsan0677 ------ Kynkii ------ Tashwampa ------ fanfic7inu ------ theablackthorn ------ Dark Inu Fan ------ CatLover260
indigorrain ------ cutechick18 ------ Shiratsuki ------ OROsan0677
Thought from Valerie:
Oral Sex for Dummies …?
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 111
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