InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Bad Behavior ( Chapter 128 )

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


'Tell me what you want to hear
'Something that were like those years
'I'm sick of all the insincere
'So I'm gonna give all my secrets away …'

-'Secrets' by One Republic.



Rolling over in the huge bed, Evan groaned and buried his head under the pillow.

"There you are!  Why are you still in bed, anyway?" Madison demanded, her voice muffled but audible, just the same.

"Still sleepin'," Evan grumbled, refusing to open his eyes as he burrowed deeper under the blankets.

"Yeah, well, you were supposed to be at the Cavanaugh Building an hour ago for makeup," she reminded him.  "Any idea how irritated Mike is right now?"

"Like I give a fuck," Evan growled.  The effect was lost to the muffling qualities of the mattress.  "Leave me be."

"Wow, aren't you crabby today?" she replied, tugging the blankets away from him.  "Come on, big guy," she said, playfully swatting his naked rear.  "I've been sent to bring you back alive."

"Don't wanna," he pouted, rolling over and draping an arm over his eyes to blot out the brightness of his bedroom.  "Tell 'em you found me dead . . . OD-ed on heroin or some such shit . . ."

"Hmm," she intoned, settling on the edge of the bed.  "I get the feeling that you're having a fit because of a certain woman?  Or more to the point, a certain woman's boyfriend who suddenly decided to rear his boring, Charlie Brown head?"

"Charlie Brown is cool," Evan contradicted.  "He has Snoopy."

Madison laughed and lifted his arm off of his face.  "Relax.  He'll disappear again, just like he always does, and Valerie won't care then, either, because she never does.  If you ask me, I'd say she likes her freedom a little too much from that little rat-bastard.  Being engaged keeps the vermin away, or so I've been told."

He heaved a sigh and finally deigned to open one eye to cast Madison a longsuffering look.  "You're assuming that I care.  I don't care," he insisted.  "She's a grown-ass woman.  She can do whatever the fuck she wants to do."

That bit of bravado earned him a very artfully arched eyebrow.  "Is that so?" she challenged mildly.  "And if I were to say that she told ol' Marvin to hit the road?"

She blinked when Evan sat straight up, all traces of sleepiness, gone.  "She did?  Really?  Hot damn!"

"No, she didn't," Madison went on.  "I was just proving my point; that's all."

"Bitch," Evan muttered, dropping back onto the mattress once more.

She giggled then sighed.  "Are you really going to skip out on that photo shoot?" she finally asked, careful to keep her tone neutral.  "It's a big deal, you know.  It's not every day that the Marius Orlando wants to photograph someone like Zel Roka.  After all, he makes it a point to only work with what he calls 'ze bee-yoo-tifool vemon of the vurld' . . ." Madison suddenly laughed and shook her head.  "Arrogant bastard."

Rolling over and propping his head on his hand, Evan raised an eyebrow.  "You sound like you know the guy or something . . . You can't tell me he didn't think you were one of those 'bee-yoo-tifool vemon' . . . If he didn't, then the little fucker needs to have his goddamn eyes checked."

She rolled her eyes, looking astonishingly irritated at Evan's remarks.  'Ah, is that right . . .?' he mused to himself.

"Self-serving ass said he could make me famous," Madison said.  "Then he said that he'd overlook your 'tardy' arrival if I got down on my knees and asked him 'nicely'."

"Sounds like he wants a bit of a beating," Evan muttered.

Flicking her hand in blatant dismissal, Madison wrinkled her nose.  "I can take care of myself, you know."

"I know," he allowed, looking less than pleased by the idea that Madison would have to take care of herself.  "Where the fuck was Bone?"

"He's your bodyguard, Evan.  Where do you think he was?" she shot back.

He sighed.  "Yeah, well Marius can suck my left nut," he grumbled, reaching out to tug Madison down beside him.  "Begged like a bitch to take my picture, and then he pulls that shit on you?  Not fucking likely."

She sighed, too.  "I figured you'd say something like that," she admitted.  "Mike's not going to be very happy about you blowing off the shoot, though."

Evan snorted indelicately.  "Mikey can suck my right nut."

"You want men sucking on your balls?  Really?"

"Hell, at this point?  I'd be glad to have any action at all aside from my own fucking fist," he grumbled.

"That bad?" she crooned.

Evan heaved another sigh.  "Well, maybe not that bad . . . Not yet, anyway . . ."

She giggled and kissed his cheek.  "Poor baby . . ."

"I know; I know," he said.  Suddenly, though, he sat up again.  "Hey, what time is it?"

Madison blinked and pushed herself upright, too.  "Time?" she echoed, shaking her head.  "About nine-thirty.  Why?"

Evan chuckled and reached over her to retrieve his cell phone off the night stand.  "Eh, I'll give it . . . five minutes . . ."

"Give what?  What did you do?" Madison couldn't help asking.

Evan grinned.  "Well, I figure that V's gotta be going into her office today, right, because she hasn't been there since we got back from Maine, and you know her.  She can't stand not working . . ."

"Okay," Madison said slowly, "but what are you giving five minutes?"

Right on cue, his cell phone erupted in the song, 'V'—Valerie's ringtone—and he laughed.  "Always punctual, isn't she?"

"Oh, good lord, what did you do?" Madison reluctantly asked.

His grin widened as he answered the call, directing it straight to speaker phone for Madison's delectation.  "Hey, baby.  Just the lady I was dreamin' about . . ."

"Cut the crap, Roka," she growled in her usual no-nonsense tone.  "What the hell is that?"

"That?" he repeated innocently yet knowing well enough exactly what she had to be looking at.  "That, what?"

Complete silence.  Evan figured she was counting to ten in an effort to control that glorious temper of hers.  The silence stretched on longer than a ten count, however, and he almost chuckled.  Her ire warranted a twenty-five count?  'Nice . . .'

"That . . . That-that-that . . . monstrosity!" she finally blurted.  A sudden rattle and strange squelching sound as she covered the phone.  "Don't you have work to do?" she demanded, her voice muffled but intelligible.

"It would depend on what you're calling a monstrosity, V," he replied calmly.

She growled.  She actually growled.  Evan very nearly laughed outright but managed to control himself since he didn't figure she'd take his amusement very kindly.  "Your penis, Roka," she snarled.  "What else would I be talking about?"

"Yeah," he quipped, unable to ignore that one.  "It is pretty damn big, isn't it?  Not as big as Bubby's, but damn, I doubt anyone on earth has a pecker bigger than his."

"Oh, my God," she moaned.  Evan had the distinct feeling that she was rubbing her forehead.  "Get it down, get it down, get it down!" she hissed.

He chuckled.  "But that's your Christmas present, baby," he told her.  "You should be honored, too, because there aren't many prints of it out there—at least, not with my head still showing . . ."

She heaved a long, drawn-out, exasperated sigh.  "It's a four foot poster of you," she nearly whined.

"Closer to five feet, actually," he added.

"Whatever!  Fine, then!  It's a five foot poster of you—and your penis!"  The last word had come out as a very loud whisper, probably because she didn't want the entire office to hear her, and it was probably also a fair bet that more than a few of them knew about the poster and were trying to eavesdrop.

"But I even had it framed, just for you," he told her.

"Is that the underpants ad?" Madison whispered, her eyes twinkling with amusement.

Evan nodded, and Madison covered her mouth.

Valerie growled again, rapidly closing in on total melt down, or so he figured.  "Look, I don't know why you'd think that I'd want a picture of you—"

"And my penis," he added helpfully.

She groaned again.  "Ugh, I think I'm developing an aneurism . . . Why do you hate me?"

"I don't, V.  I love you.  I adore you.  I'd worship you if you'd let me . . ." he assured her.

"No . . . No . . . You definitely hate me," she decided.  "Okay, whatever.  You know, it cannot stay in my office.  Do you hear me?"

He was well aware of the fact that he was currently grinning like a damned lunatic.  "Aww, relax, V.  you can only see, like . . . a quarter of the actual penile projectile, and—"

"You warped and twisted little monkey!" she blasted as Madison doubled over in silent laughter and very nearly toppled off the bed. "Get over here, and get rid of it!"

He heaved a rather melodramatic sigh meant to sound rueful.  Somehow, he doubted that he'd actually managed that . . . "Well, see, it's like this, V . . ."

"It's like what?  What, what, what, what?" she hissed.

"Ah . . . The guys I hired to hang it said that since your office is on such a high floor, it should be affixed to the supports.  You know, in case there's an earthquake or some other unforeseen act of God . . ."

"I'll show you an act of God if you don't get this eyesore off my wall right now!" she warned.

"You know, baby, I'd love to discuss this more, but I'm running late for a photo shoot.  Why don't you come on by later on, and we'll talk about it," he said.

"I hate you," she grumbled.  "Don't you dare hang up that phone unless you're coming over here to get rid of this thing!"

"Bye, baby," he said, ending the phone call while Valerie was still mid-tirade.

It wasn't a moment too soon, either.  Madison gave a hoot of laughter as she collapsed against his shoulder as tears streamed down her cheeks.  "Oh, my God!" Madison wheezed between giggling fits.  "V's going to kill you!"

"Nah," he drawled with a self-satisfied grin.  "Deep down, she loves that poster.  I mean, what's not to love?  I'm wearing underpants, and you know how hard she's tried to get me to wear those . . . and so what if you can see a little bit of my wang-dang-doodle?"

Madison clutched her stomach and grimaced despite the giggles that were still ebbing out of her.  "Stop it or you'll make me pee!" she howled.

"Aw, my bed's seen worse," he quipped.  "I've ruined more sheets than I care to think about . . ."

She finally wound down to a few little chuckles, and she sat up, wiping the tears off her cheeks with the back of her hand.  "She really is going to kill you, you realize."

"She might try," he allowed since it was a safe bet that Valerie probably was dreaming up about a thousand interesting and likely painful deaths for him right about now.

"I think she wants you to take back your 'gift'," Madison said with a quirked eyebrow.

"It was a gift," Evan pointed out reasonably.  "You can't return a gift."

Madison snorted and stood up, wandering over to Evan's closet.  "What are you talking about?" she scoffed.  "I've returned tons of your gifts."

"You have?"

She grabbed a pair of worn jeans and a red tee-shirt for him.  "Of course I have," she replied as though it was of no real consequence.  "I take back whatever you bought for me and get whatever it was that I really wanted—usually shoes.  Piece of cake."

Crossing his arms over his chest, he ignored the clothes she tossed at him.  "I'm hurt, Madikins," he pouted.  "I thought you loved my gifts."

"I do," she assured him, leaning down to kiss his cheek, "because you always get me just what I wanted."

He made a face.  "What about that pearl necklace I bought you last year?"

She giggled.  "It miraculously morphed into that fabulous pair of Stratham sling-backs."

"The massage chair?"

"That pair of cherry red, open-toed stack heels."

"The Davian mink coat?"

"Patent leather go-go boots—black, of course."

He snorted.  "The vacation to Barbados?"

"Oh, I kept that one."

He snorted.  "One out of four?  You kept one out of four?"

She winked at him.  "And this year, I might have to wave the magic wand and change those sapphire earrings into a pair of absolutely luscious Flairisan stilettos I saw a few weeks ago at Saks."

Chuckling, Evan rolled out of bed and tugged on the jeans.  "Remind me next year just to get you a gift certificate."

"If I were V, I'd take the poster and sell it on eBay.  Then she can buy whatever it is she really wants."

"Don't you dare suggest that to her," Evan warned, only half-joking.  

Madison grinned unrepentantly.  "You know, if we hurry, you could probably still make the photo shoot."

"I've got a better idea," he said, pulling the tee-shirt over his head.  "How about you and me and breakfast at Fezz's?"

Heaving a sigh, Madison shook her head.  Too bad Evan knew that she had a weakness for the fresh, hot cinnamon rolls they served at the diner.

"All right," she finally agreed, "but if Mike asks, I didn't find you."

Evan grinned and grabbed her hand to drag her out of his room.  "My lips are sealed, Maddy."


'Do you honestly think the world would miss him if he were to suddenly just disappear?'

Making a face as she arranged the coat rack in front of the God-awful poster, Valerie snorted as she lowered her coat to one of the lower hooks and fussed with it to hide certain parts of Evan's anatomy.  'As if I care at the moment.'

It wouldn't come off the wall.

More to the point, it seemed to be affixed permanently to the wall.

Oh, she'd tried taping a piece of paper over it.  The outline could still be seen since he was standing against a black background.  She'd tried pushing a chair in front of it, but whoever had mounted the stupid thing had made sure that it was high enough off the floor that no easy fix like that would work.  She'd even called maintenance and borrowed one of their flathead screwdrivers so she could try to pry it off the wall herself, which might've worked if she didn't care about destroying the wall underneath.

She should have known that she wasn't going to like what she found in her office when she'd stepped off the elevator and all the whispering in the reception area had ceased.  Then the giggling had started, and yet, that hadn't given her a moment's pause, either.

It just figured.  Leave it to Evan Zelig to do something so . . . so . . .

'You have to admit, Valerie, it is a little amusing.'

'Oh, it so isn't,' she fumed.

'Well, just a little . . .'

She heaved a sigh.  'The jerk!  What are my clients going to think when they come in here and see that?'

'Don't worry about your clients, Valerie!  Think about your boss.'

She stopped dead and nearly whined out loud.  She hadn't thought of that.  "Oh . . . my God . . ."

There was no help for it. Once Xavier saw that particular bit of décor, she was going to be fired; she just knew it.

"Valerie?  Kevin Werner is on line three.  He's wanting an update on the status of Glen Dirge's case."

"Thank you, Kim," Valerie said to the temporary secretary that she'd been assigned since her regular one was taking a well-deserved vacation.  "I'll call you if I need anything," she added stiffly when the girl's eyes shifted to the poster yet again.

"Oh!  Okay," she blurted, her cheeks reddening as she reluctantly closed the door once more.

"I'm going to kill him, and it won't be murder.  More like 'insecticide' . . ." Valerie muttered under her breath as she stomped over to the desk to answer the call.  As it was, she had to take a moment to draw a few deep breaths before she trusted herself to hit the button.  After all, Glen Dirge was a third generation 'actor'—at least, that's what he said, even though he'd only actually appeared in a handful of cameo roles thus far—who was fairly notorious for his obnoxious temper and his affinity for illegal substances.  He'd allegedly been caught on surveillance video breaking into a store while he was high on cocaine, and Xavier—God bless him—had decided that the case was right up Valerie's alley.  At least he had decided that he couldn't be bothered with calling in personally.  Kevin Werner, Dirge's personal assistant, was marginally easier to deal with than his employer.  "Hello, Mr. Werner," she answered, turning her back so that she wasn't looking at that idiotic poster.

"Yes, 'ello, Ms. Denning," he replied, sounding clearly disgruntled that he was kept on hold.  "I'm calling for Mr. Dirge.  He'd appreciate an update on his case."

"There hasn't really been any developments since Mr. Dirge entered his plea," she said.  "His next court date isn't until February."

"About that," he went on smoothly, the British accent that Valerie was certain was fake growing thicker.  "It's the law that one must receive an expedient trial in the States, is it not?  I'd hardly call three months 'expedient'."

"He waived his right to a speedy trial," she reminded him.

"Of course."  He didn't sound like he believed Valerie.  "I'll inform Mr. Dirge.  Thank you for your time."

She hung up the phone and rubbed her forehead, wondering absently if her day could get any worse.  Between idiot rock stars and their warped idea of Christmas gifts and spoiled wannabe-actors, she was starting to think she'd have been better off if she'd just stayed in bed all day . . .

The cell phone she'd left sitting on her desk rang, and Valerie reached for it, half afraid to see who was calling.  Heaving a sigh of relief as she read the caller ID, she hit the button to connect the call and lifted the phone to her ear.  "Marvin, hi," she greeted, managing a wan smile.

"Val, you'll never guess who I just talked to!" Marvin blurted, the excitement in his tone thick.

"Who?" she asked since she didn't have a clue.

He uttered an almost nervous little laugh.  "Raymond Jeffries!"

Valerie frowned as she tried to place the name.  She couldn't.  "A friend of yours?"

Marvin laughed again.  "No.  Well, I hope so, eventually, but I've never met him before.  He's one of the chairmen of the Wonder Wings Foundation."

"Oh," she said, recognizing that name from the list of those that Marvin was trying to convince to underwrite his research.  "Good news, I hope?"

"Ah, uh, kind of . . . He was telling me about this huge New Year's Eve party he hosts every year for the candidates hoping to receive grants.  Kind of a way for the board to hear about the projects on the table, straight from the horses' mouths, so to speak . . . Anyway, he asked me to be there!  Can you imagine?  This is . . . Well, it's huge!  The Wonder Wings Foundation is almost as big as the Zelig Foundation!  If I could convince them to underwrite part of the research . . ." He laughed again.  "He said that he wanted to invite me, but he hadn't thought I'd be in the city.  Can you imagine? Talk about luck, right?  And you could wear that black dress if you want—or you could go get something else, if you'd rather.  I mean, the party's not till tomorrow night . . ."

"New Year's Eve?" she repeated, her frown darkening as she bit her lip.  Evan was expecting her to be at his concert, and even though she didn't think Marvin would be interested in going, she had to admit that she was looking forward to it.  "Ev—Zel's concert's tomorrow night," she said as she rubbed her forehead.

That gave him a moment's pause.  It was as though all the wind had suddenly been taken out of his sails.  "Oh . . . That's right.  You did mention that, didn't you?  I'm sorry . . . I guess I was just excited about the party . . ."

Why did he have to sound like she'd kicked his puppy?  She sighed.  "It's part of his court order," she explained.  "A charity concert."

He sighed softly.  Valerie wasn't supposed to have heard it, but she did.  "Well," he mused, sounding more disappointed that she figured he meant to, "It's okay.  I mean, this was kind of sudden, and you've got other obligations . . ."

"What time does the party start?" she asked.  Evan's concert wasn't going to get going till nearly midnight, he'd told her, in celebration of the new year.  If Marvin's party started a lot earlier, then she'd be able to do both . . .

"Eight, he said," Marvin replied.  "Don't worry about it, Val.   Sounds like the concert's important, and I don't want you to break your plans for me."

"Eight's good," she hurried to say, brushing aside the feeling that she wished he'd be a little less understanding sometimes.  That was stupid, wasn't it?  She loved that Marvin cared about whether or not he upset her . . . "The concert starts at midnight, so there's plenty of time, right?"

"R-Really?" he asked, sounding a little breathless.  "That's great!  I-I-I can't wait for them to meet you!  I've told them all about you, of course!  If things go well tomorrow night . . ."

Pasting on a wan smile, Valerie nodded, sinking down into her chair and staring at the framed poster mounted on the far wall.  "It sounds like fun," she assured him.  "Listen, I have to go.  You can tell me more about Wonder Wings over dinner?"

"Okay," he said with a soft chuckle.  "Bye."

"Bye," she said, closing the phone with a sigh.

Why did Marvin's acquiescence bother her so much?  Of course she would have gotten angry if he'd demanded that she go with him, not that he ever would have done any such thing.  After all, Marvin never did that.  Still, the flash of exasperation she'd felt had to come from somewhere, didn't it?

Shaking her head, Valerie heaved another sigh when her gaze lit on that stupid poster once more.  If Evan were Marvin, he'd have done the same thing, wouldn't he?  Ultimately, he would have told her that she should do what she had already planned to do.  The difference was that Evan would've whined and pouted, but he'd still have relented in the end, but Marvin?

He was afraid, wasn't he?  It was that meekness, that underlying quality that reminded her of a puppy that had been kicked one time too many, the cowering sort of humility . . . He was afraid that she'd be angry . . . 'No,' she mused absently, drumming her fingertips against the desktop.  'No, that's not it . . .'

'Wow, talk about bitchy,' her conscience pricked.  'Complaining about something you always liked about him before . . .'

Her frown deepened as she reached for a file she needed to read through.  That wasn't it; not at all.  She'd always thought that his ready agreement to go along with her plans was just his efforts to be accommodating, but in reality, wasn't it just him trying to placate her?  As though he were afraid, but . . .

'That's stupid!' she fumed, pushing the file away before she'd even gotten it open. 'Afraid?  Afraid of what?'

'What do you think a guy like him would be afraid of?' her conscience snapped back.  'He's afraid that if he doesn't appease Queen Bitch that you'll dump him faster than he could stop to scratch his ass.'

Thumping her elbows onto the desk, she gripped her temples and rubbed furiously.  'Stop it,' she told herself angrily.  'I'm not even mad at Marvin.  Evan's the one who needs a good foot up his rear . . . Big, fat jerk, anyway . . .'

Heaving a sigh, Valerie peeked up at the poster once more then resumed rubbing, only this time, it was a lot fiercer.  What she really needed was a sledgehammer, a bottle of Tylenol, and a certain rock star who she wanted to maim . . .

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~= ~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Secrets ' first appeared on One Republic's 2009 release, Waking Up.  Song written by and copyrighted to Ryan Tedder.
== == == == == == == == == ==
monkeyseemonkeynodo ——— Dark Inu Fan ——— renomaru ——— chaos_kyes_fallen_angel (thank you!) ——— Cricket42 ——— theablackthorn ——— darkangel05
indigorrain ——— cutechick18 ——— lianned88 ——— GoodyKags ——— Mangaluva ——— amohip
Thought from Valerie:
HeHe's not afraid of me
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 127
Chapter 129
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