InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Island Girl ( Chapter 131 )

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


-OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'< i>I see your teeth flash, Jamaican honey, so sweet …
'Down where Lexington cross 47th Street
'She's a big girl; she's standin' six foot three
'Turnin' tricks for the dudes in the big city …'

-'Island Girl' by Elton John.


-Evan-


"Oh, my God!  Look at the water!"

Stifling a sigh, Evan slowly shook his head.  "If you fall in, I'm not jumping in after you," he called.

Valerie giggled and hung onto the railing, tossing her head back and closing her eyes as she savored the feel of the sun on her skin.

'Hey, rockstar . . .'

Satisfied that she wasn't actually going to go toppling over the side of the thirty-two foot cruising yacht, Evan shifted his attention straight ahead of the watercraft once more.  'I know,' he thought in an effort to stave off whatever chiding he was about to receive.

It didn't work.  'Seems like our acation became a vacation, after all,' his youkai voice pointed out.

'Yep.'

'How the hell did she do that, anyway?'

That was the thing, wasn't it?  Even now, three days after he'd broken down and told Valerie where he was going, he still wasn't entirely sure how she'd talked him into bringing her with him.  After all, he really had meant it when he'd told her 'no'.

Well, he might have been able to stick to his guns had he not made the mistake of looking directly at her, but he had, hadn't he?  And the disappointment on her features?

He sighed.  That had to have been it, right?  That had to have been the reason he'd agreed to let her come along.  Still, he couldn't help but think that it was a train wreck just waiting to happen.

'She did promise that she won't get in the way when I go looking for girls,' Evan pointed out philosophically as he checked the gauges that monitored everything about the boat.

'Of course she promised that,' his youkai voice scoffed.  'She'd have agreed to just about anything to get you to let her come along.'

Evan had his doubts about that, of course.  Maybe if she hadn't gotten so excited about the trip, he might've been able to hold his own against her.  She was like the proverbial kid in a candy store, wasn't she?  And who was he to rain on her parade . . .?

'You know, I was thinking . . .'

Why did those words sound like the tolling of a funeral bell?  'I thought we agreed before that you shouldn't ever do that,' he shot back.

'Yeah, but maybe . . . Maybe having her along is a good thing.'

Gaze shifting out the door to his left at the woman in question, he sighed.   Given that he'd wanted some time alone to reevaluate his feelings for her?  He wasn't inclined to agree.

'No, now listen . . . I do think that we made some progress with her over Christmas,' his youkai went on, gaining bravado when Evan didn't cut it off.  'Okay, so she's not quite ready to let go of her security blanket, but we definitely, definitely moved forward.  Now it's up to you to build on that foundation, you dig?  If you give up on her now . . .'

Evan's frown deepened.  That was the crux of it, wasn't it?  That was the reason he'd so desperately needed the time away from her.  She'd said before that lust drove him to want to be with her, and while he'd like to think that it wasn't true, a part of him couldn't help but think that maybe she was right, after all . . . Was he really that shallow that he couldn't differentiate between love and lust?  Still . . .

'It has nothing at all to do with being shallow, rockstar.  How the hell would we know what real love is when we've never been in love before?'

Maybe that was true, and maybe it wasn't.  True enough, he wanted Valerie Denning more than he'd ever wanted any other woman before, so sure, that could be called lust, he supposed, but . . .

'Don't go there, right?'

Evan checked the compass to make sure that he was still headed in the right direction.  Even though he was pretty sure that he was, one of the first lessons he'd learned was that you could never, ever be too cautious.

"We're just friends . . ."

'Damn . . . Never, ever thought I'd hate three fucking words as much as I hate those,' he mused with a grimace.  Close enough to be near her, to be touched by her, but not close enough to touch her in return . . . and that proximity hurt, didn't it?  Ached so badly that he thought he might be going crazy . . .

"Is that your island?" Valerie asked, breaking through his reverie as she ducked into the wheelhouse with a bright grin, her eyes sparkling with excitement.

"Yep," he said with a little smile.  'Well, if I had to bring someone along with me, at least it's someone hot . . .'

Crossing her arms over her chest as she watched their approach, she sighed happily.  "I can't believe you have your own island," she pointed out.  "How many people can claim that?  You know, if I were you, I'd say screw New York and move down here permanently . . ."

"Eh, I like the cold sometimes," he ventured.

He had a feeling that she'd rolled her eyes behind the smoky lenses of her sunglasses.  "I keep reminding myself that it's January," she said with a little giggle.  "Do you think we can go back to Mayaguana?  I'd like to look for a bikini . . ."

'Oh, yeah, that's just not something I need to see . . .' he thought with a grimace that she didn't catch. Maybe he could find her one of those old fashioned kinds: the ones that looked more like shorts than an actual swimsuit . . . "You don't have one?" he asked instead.

"Yeah," she said with a shrug, as though it were the simplest thing in the world.  "I want to get a new one; that's all . . . I'll let you help me pick it out," she offered.

"You will, huh?" Evan stifled a sigh.  'That woman is trying to kill me . . .'

"It's the least I can do," she insisted with a very staunch nod.  "After all, you did bring me along on your vacation.  Thanks again!"

"You've already said that about a hundred times," he pointed out with a grin.  "Don't worry about it."

"I mean it," she said, her already bright smile growing brighter by the second.  "I know you didn't have to bring me along, but you did, which proves it."

He blinked.  "Proves what?"

She giggled.  "Proves that you really can be nice—maybe even sweet."

"I wouldn't go that far," he said with a snort.  "Did I tell you that there's an ordinance on my island?"

"An ordinance?" she repeated, shaking her head in confusion.

He nodded.  "Yep.  No clothes on Roka Island."

He knew she rolled her eyes that time, even without being able to see it.  "I washed all the color out of my hair, Chief Hot Dog. That's the only condition you gave me."

Heaving a sigh designed to let her know exactly what he thought of her non-compliance, Evan tried to look dismayed.  "Don't make me build a jail on my island, V . . . and it's Big Chief Hot Dog to you, and on the yacht, I fully expect you to address me as is right and proper."

"And how would that be?" she asked, sounded a little reluctant but somewhat curious, nonetheless.

"Cap'n Long Dong," he informed her.

"Hmm," she drawled, staring out the windows.  "I don't think so."

"Careful, or I'll be forced to make you walk the plank, landlubber."

She wrinkled her nose in a  most adorable way.  "You first, Cap'n Crunch.  Anyway, you weren't joking, huh?  There really isn't anything else there . . . Is your house directly on the beach?"

Chuckling at the quiet sense of awe in her tone, Evan scratched his chin thoughtfully.  "It's kind of all beach, V."

Her smile was positively triumphant.  "Which makes it absolutely perfect!  But it's not.  I see trees."

"Yeah, a few trees . . . There's a really great little spring in the middle of the island.  You'll like it . . . I've considered building a bigger place out here, but then, I kind of think that it'd ruin the organic look of it . . ."

Nodding slowly, Valerie didn't take her eyes off the island they were approaching.  "It would," she agreed softly.  "But where's the house?"

Turning the yacht to slip around the island, Evan laughed.  "The water's deeper on the other side of the island, so that's where the house and dock are.  The yacht can navigate fairly shallow water, but it's safer that way."

"I see," she replied before grinning at him once more.  "Have I told you how much I'm looking forward to this, Roka?"

Evan sighed inwardly but smiled back at her.  "Only a few . . . thousand . . . times," he drawled.

Valerie laughed and headed for the doorway again, her bare feet whispering against the floor, probably so that she could get a better look at the island.

'Well,' he thought as his frown returned.  At least one of them was looking forward to this vacation.  Evan, however, just couldn't shake the feeling that he was sitting on a landmine, and the wrong move might well blow everything right up in his face . . .


-Valerie-


Rolling over on the blanket she'd spread on the soft white sand, Valerie heaved a contented sigh as she savored the heat of the lazy sun.

It was heaven, pure and simple—absolute bliss.  The cold she'd left behind in New York City early that morning was fast forgotten, and she had to admit that Evan's island was far better than anything she'd ever imagined.  Sure, he'd told her about it.  Somehow, he'd downplayed it, hadn't he?  While it was true that the house only had two rooms, the main one was big and airy.  Lots of windows, a huge fireplace, but no real furniture to speak of.  There were lots of huge pillows arranged on the floor as well as a couple hanging seats that were secured to the rough beams overhead.  Those chairs were more like huge woven discs held securely in a configuration of soft rope netting, almost like open side cages, really, and a lot more comfortable than they looked.

The kitchen, if you wanted to call it that, was little more than a rough sink and some cupboards built into the walls and hidden behind sliding doors, and she was surprised to see that there actually was a very small refrigerator, too, until Evan explained that the place had solar panels on the roof as well as what he called a Fuldam generator—a machine that was able to harvest energy generated by moving water.  To Valerie, it looked like a rod that stuck up through the deck where he'd anchored the yacht.  He'd said that most of the mechanism was under water and ran the length of the dock.  It was more like a mesh grating that was fine enough that it didn't usually get fish trapped up in it and that the flow of the water through it was then converted to energy that was then stored in cells hidden below the porch.  At least, that was the rough explanation, or so he'd said.

But the house didn't have light fixtures or anything, and as far as Valerie could tell, the only things that used the electricity were the water, the refrigerator, and the small old stove.

And he wasn't kidding about the bed, either.  There was only one, and it was little more than a thick futon mattress on the floor, nearly hidden behind layers of white mosquito netting that was also suspended from the ceiling so that it tented over the mattress.  In fact, she thought that the netting might be a full cocoon with the mattress inside, which would be far more effective than just having the open netting draped over it, she supposed.  Old fashioned looking oil lamps affixed to the walls and suspended from the ceiling rafters . . . Evan had said that he would lower the lamps at night to light them.

As for the bathroom?  Well, it was just like the rest of the house: a little rough yet still quite charming—rustic, she supposed that it could be called.  Two walls of the room had a row of windows that extended from corner to corner but situated high enough and angled outward at the top, which had struck her as odd until she'd stopped to think about it.  The original owner of the island was a fairly well-known actor, so it made sense .  The windows were likely angled to discourage spying, should the paparazzi actually manage to make it onto the island.

Of course, the most interesting thing to Valerie was the marked lack of anything that could really connect the island to the rest of the world.  No radios, no televisions, no computers, no nothing.  Evan had brought in a satellite phone.  Their cells would work on the bigger islands, but out here?  Fat chance of that, considering there was no cell phone tower nearby . . .

No doubt about it, it was Evan's own private paradise.  Maybe it should have surprised her that he'd want to get away to someplace so remote, and yet, it didn't.  She'd seen glimpses of it before, hadn't she?  That quiet side of him, the introspective side that he usually kept hidden from the prying eyes of the public life he led . . .

Speaking of him . . .

Pushing herself up on her elbows, Valerie scanned the beach for Evan.  For a moment, she couldn't find him since he'd decided to go snorkeling first thing off the boat—well, after he'd done a quick check of the systems to make sure that everything was working correctly, anyway.  He'd had to clean off the generator screen near the beach to clear some debris, but he said everything else looked good.

She finally spotted him, his head popping up above the surface of the water, and she smiled as he gave his head a good shake and waded toward the shore.  Clumps of hair blew into his face but didn't seem to bother him in the least, and he looked completely natural, as if he were entirely relaxed, and she wondered if she'd ever seen him so serene while he was awake . . .

She sighed.  Damned if he didn't look good in his new neoprene wetsuit, too . . . In fact, she kind of wondered how it could possibly be that it didn't matter what he wore, he always looked good, even if he'd just woken up and his hair was sticking up all over his head.  It defied logic.

"How's the tan coming?" he asked as he strode up on the beach.

"Pretty good," she replied, raising a hand to shield her eyes from the sun.  "Are you done being a fish?"

"For the moment," he allowed with a grin as he dropped onto the sand beside her.  "Anyway, you're good, right?"

Valerie frowned.  "Yeah," she said slowly, disliking the restlessness that was suddenly emanating off him in waves.  "Why?  What are you doing?"

He sat up, hooking his hands around his knees.  "Well, if you're all right here, I figured I'd motor back to the island and see if I can't find some fun," he replied.

"Oh, okay," she said, sitting up and reaching for her water bottle.  "Just let me change . . ."

Evan grabbed her wrist as she started to rise.  "I'm going alone, V," he said.

Staring at him for a long moment, she slowly sat back down.  She wasn't sure why, but the idea of him taking off alone bothered her—a lot.  "It's getting kind of late, isn't it?" she pointed out reasonably.  "What about dinner?"

"We bought stuff before we came out here, remember?" he told her.  "There's plenty of food in there."

"Yeah, but . . . You can't sail at night, can you?"

He shrugged.  "You kidding?  The navigation equipment on the yacht's state of the art.  Just gotta know where you're going."

"But it's our first night here," she went on, giving him a bright smile.  "You can't leave me here alone on the first night here."

He saw right through her ploy, didn't he?  Raising an eyebrow as he leaned back on his hands, he shook his head almost imperceptibly.  "V . . .?"

"Y-Yes?"

He nodded sagely.  "Do you remember what I said when you asked why I wanted to come down here alone?"

She bit her lip.  "Yes."

He nodded again.  "Do you remember what you promised?"

Scrunching up her shoulders, she tried not to fidget.  "Yes."

"You know, you're breaking your promise, right?"

Valerie made a face.  "I'm not," she insisted, lifting her chin stubbornly.  "I'm just saying that it's our first night here!  There'll be plenty of time for you to do . . . that . . . later—when it isn't our first night here."

He didn't look entirely convinced, and Valerie was starting to think that he was going to leave, anyway, and she sighed.

"All right," he said at length, drawing Valerie's gaze.  "But no complaining tomorrow when I go, okay?"

She nodded quickly, the smile that surfaced on her face full of undisguised relief.  "Okay," she agreed and she laid back down and wiggled around to get comfortable again.  "So . . . What are you going to fix me for dinner?"

He snorted.  "After all that, you're going to make me cook, too?  I think you should do it, all things considered."

"But you love cooking," she reminded him, closing her eyes as she savored the warm rays of sunlight.  "I'd hate to be the one to take away something you enjoy doing."

He snorted again, likely because she'd already talked him out of one thing that he'd enjoy, but at least he didn't remark on that.  "Fine, fine, woman . . . Treat me like a slave, will you?"

"I'll expect to be fed in an hour," she replied airily, flicking a hand to indicate that he should get a move on.

"Seriously?" he countered incredulously.  "An hour?  Damn, you're tough."

She giggled.  "I'll let you take a little longer, but the food had better be worth it."

Heaving a melodramatic sigh, she could tell he was standing up.  "I don't get paid enough for this," he grumbled despite the teasing lilt in his voice.  "Fantastic food in an hour?  Give me a break, woman . . ."

She laughed, inordinately pleased with herself for having achieved a small victory.  Sure, she knew what he thought he wanted, and maybe on some level, he did.  She'd just have to go out of her way to prove to him that he could have lots of fun without running off to find some girls.  After all, the world didn't really revolve around sex, no matter what Evan Zelig tried to convince himself.

'And that's the only reason you're trying to stop him?' her conscience pricked.

'Of course it is,' she insisted.  'Besides, how many times has he said that before, and he doesn't go out looking . . .?'

'I don't know, Valerie.  I mean, you did promise him that you wouldn't try to stop him.'

She wrinkled her nose.  'He'll thank me for it one day,' she insisted.  'Just wait and see.'


~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~= ~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
A/N:
'Island< /b> Girl' first appeared on the Elton John's 1975 release, Rock of the Westies.  Song written by and copyrighted to the Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
An hour for a good dinner?  Keh!
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Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Subterfuge):  I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga.  Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al.  I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.
~Sue~

Chapter 130
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