InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Thwarted ( Chapter 132 )

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


-< i>OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Take me down to the paradise city
'Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
'Take me home
'(Oh, won't you please take me home …)'

-'Paradise City' by Guns n' Roses.


-Evan-


'You know, that was pretty low.'

Evan didn't comment as he kept his attention trained on the direction the yacht was headed.  It was a gorgeous day . . . beautiful blue skies, a few puffy, cotton candy clouds . . . calm waters . . . no V, and he was out to find some women—hell, any woman would do . . .

'Seriously, you sneak off when she's out taking a walk?  Talk about a crap-tastic thing to do.'

Evan grunted, but still refused to comment.

'Don't you think that she's going to be a little upset when she figures out that you're gone?'

'It's not like I didn't tell her that I was going to the island today,' he replied tersely, about the only concession he was willing to give at the moment, all things considered.  'Besides, she's got food, I checked all the systems yesterday, and everything out there is fine.'

'What if she gets lonely?'

And that, in Evan's estimation, didn't really deserve a response, either.

His youkai voice sighed.  'Come on, Roka.  You know damn well that you love having V around.  It's okay.  I do, too.'

Evan snorted, his expression growing darker by the second.  That was the crux of the problem, wasn't it?  His brain had gotten the message, loud and clear, of course.  Valerie really didn't want to be with him, and as much as he might have wished it were otherwise, he really couldn't do anything about that to change her mind.  He'd already tried everything he could think of, hadn't he?  And where had it gotten him?  Nowhere.  Absolutely nowhere.

Yeah, his mind knew it.  The thing was, his body didn't, so when he'd woken up just before dawn with the warmth of her body wrapped around his?

He winced.  Damned if he wanted to think about that, either.  Well, that wasn't entirely true.  He loved it, didn't he?  The feel of her, the smell of her, the way her body molded against his so fucking perfectly . . .

And that was the problem—the whole problem, right there, in a nutshell.  He'd caught himself about two steps from rolling over and fucking the living, breathing hell out of her, and even now, he wasn't certain how he'd actually managed to resist the desire that had slammed through him.  It hadn't taken him long to realize that he had to get out of there, and more to the point, he had to do something about his body's physical needs or he'd never be able to deal with her with a level head.

So he'd waited until after she'd left to go on a short walk before scrawling a quick note on a piece of paper and taking off before he could do something stupid, like talk himself out of it.

'So going out and fucking whatever you can get your hands on?  That's your answer?'

'It's the only thing I can do,' he muttered in an uncharacteristically defeated tone.  That's all it was, right?  After all, he'd given it a lot of thought, hadn't he?  Valerie . . . maybe she was right.  Maybe he wasn't in love with her as much as he was fixated on her.  It made sense, even if he didn't really like the idea that he could possibly be so shallow.  She'd started it herself by telling him that he couldn't sleep around while the case was going on, so he'd had nothing to do but to obsess over the one woman who didn't seem to want him in the least.  It all made sense . . .

'Don't you think that's a little too simple?'

Evan's already thoughtful scowl deepened.  As far as he was concerned, there wasn't a damn thing 'simple' about any of it.  There hadn't been since the day she'd walked into his life . . .

'Maybe . . .'

'Maybe, what?' he demanded when his youkai voice trailed off.

'Maybe . . . Maybe if we told her, you know?  Maybe if she understood who we are—what we are . . .'

His snort was loud and definite.  'Abso-fucking-lutely not,' he insisted, his temper rising at the very suggestion as he quickly set the auto-nav to keep the yacht on course and taking off to check the rigging.  'Tell her all that?  So, what?  So, she can decide that it's okay to be with us then?  Fuck, no!  If she wanted to be with me, then that's fine, but to tell her everything without even knowing if she'd take us seriously—and I guarantee you she wouldn't?  No damn way.'

'I'm not saying we should tell her what happens when a mate is rejected,' his youkai went on a little too calmly, 'but if we told her about how we know—if we told her what 'forever' really means to us . . .'

'Just drop it,' Evan growled, stomping along the way toward the rear of the vessel.

It was bad enough, wasn't it, that she already seemed to be everywhere.  When he closed his eyes, he could see her smiling face, when he felt the breeze, it felt like her fingers.  In his head, he could hear the sound of her laughter.  He snorted.  Hell, even the scent in the air reminded him of her, and . . .

And his eyes widened as he stopped short and planted his hands on his hips.  "What are you doing, V?" he asked flatly.

Very, very slowly, Valerie stood up and smiled brightly, if not a little sheepishly, as she climbed the stairs from the cabin below.  "H-Hi," she drawled, rubbing her hands together and forcing her smile to brighten a few degrees.

"Don't you 'hi' me, woman," he complained, cocking an eyebrow as he continued to stare at her.  "What are you doing on the yacht?"

She looked distinctly nervous as she scratched the back of her neck, stalling for time while she considered her answer.  "Um, well . . . You were taking a shower in the house," she began slowly, "so I figured I'd just use the one on here . . ."

"But you said you were going for a walk," he reminded her.

She shuffled her feet but stood her ground.  "I was going to," she explained pleasantly, "and then I decided to take a shower—and good thing, too!  You weren't going to tell me you were going to take off, were you?"

"Yeah, that was the plan," he admitted, ignoring the accusation in her petulant tone.

She blinked and actually looked rather surprised by his statement.  "It was?"

Evan wasn't buying the feigned innocence.  "Don't give me that, V.  You knew I was."

"I didn't," she argued.  "I can't believe you were going to leave me on the island alone!"

"I'm considering turning around and taking you right back," he told her.  "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't."

Wrinkling her nose, she couldn't stop the slight pinking of her cheeks.  "Because," she finally said, measuring her words carefully, "I asked you yesterday to take me with you so that I could go shopping."

"Shopping?" he repeated in a caustic tone.  "Is that your story?"

"It's the truth, Roka," she insisted with as much dignity as she could muster—not that much, all things considered.  She was hiding when he'd called her out, after all . . . "And you'd better not try anything funny while I'm trying on bathing suits."

"Don't worry," he assured her with a rather sardonic grin, "I won't.  In fact, I won't be anywhere near you."

She blinked, apparently not expecting to hear him say that.  "You won't?  Then where will you be?"

"Hopefully," he replied, his grin widening almost nastily, "I'll be off somewhere, getting my brains screwed out."

She'd opened her mouth to say something to him.  When he spoke, however, it snapped closed as a bold suffusion of color exploded under her skin.  "Fine, then," she replied in a very prim, very clipped tone of voice.  "It's not like I need your approval or anything."

Narrowing his eyes, Evan leaned back.  She'd agreed to that way too easily, hadn't she?  It wasn't like her at all to give in without a fight, especially when it involved something that she found distasteful—like Evan's desire to go find women.  "Give me your phone," he stated flatly, holding out his hand to take the device.

"I'm not giving you my phone," Valerie snapped.  "Why in the world would I do that?"

He didn't give up.  "Because you'll call me every ten minutes to try to stop me," he predicted.

She snorted.  "Like I care!" she scoffed.  "Just remember that if you're not careful, you're going to end up with some disease or something."  She perked up suddenly, a rather malicious grin breaking over her face.  "Maybe you'll get some incurable disease that'll make your penis fall off."

"No need to be jealous, V," he shot back.  "If you want it, all you have to do is say so."

"Dream on, rocker-boy . . . and I'm not giving you my phone."

Stifling a sigh, Evan slowly shook his head.  Despite her reassurances that she wouldn't do any such thing, he wasn't entirely convinced, and leaving her with her phone just seemed like a disaster, waiting to happen . . .

"Okay," he allowed after considering his options.  "Let's make a deal, shall we?"

She seemed surprised by his sudden change in tactics, and the suspicious expression on her face spoke volumes.  "What kind of deal?"

He almost grinned.  Sometimes, her curiosity worked against her, didn't it?  "I'll pay for whatever it is you want to buy as long as you promise not to call me—not even once.  What do you say?"

"I have my own money, Roka," she pointed out haughtily.

"Of course you do," he agreed, "but you love my bank accounts."

She didn't deny that, but she did snort indelicately.  "What if I need to get a hold of you?  What if there's a good reason for it?"

"You mean like an emergency?" he offered helpfully.

She nodded.  "Yes!  Like an emergency!"

He considered that, then shook his head.  "Nope.  No calls at all," he told her.

"Not even for an emergency?" she clarified with a shake of her head.  "That's ridiculous!"

"Yeah, well, we can't have you thinking that, 'I can't decide if I should get the pink one or the blue one,' is an acceptable 'emergency'."

Her lips twitched at the high-pitched tone he'd used despite the irritation on her features.  "I wouldn't," she insisted.

He shrugged.  "It's that, you hand over your cell, or I turn the yacht around and drop you off back at the island," he stated.

Heaving a sigh and rolling her eyes to let him know exactly what she thought of those options, Valerie uttered a terse sound.  "Fine," she agreed huffily then smiled.  "Let's hope your bank accounts can handle my shopping, then—what if they won't let me use this?" she asked, frowning at the platinum card he slapped into her hand.

"Tell them you're my new wife," he replied carelessly, and he didn't take the bait in her not-so-subtle threat, either.  "I've got more money than God, remember?  I seriously doubt you can do that much damage, even if you tried, so knock yourself out, V."

She didn't look at all satisfied, but she did lift her chin a notch.  "Okay, then, Roka," she ground out.  "I think I will."


-Evan-


"So where are you from?"

Evan smiled and shifted in his chair, savoring the feel of the warm breeze blowing off the water through the open air bar and grill.  "New York City," he replied.

"Oh, I love that city!" Kishia exclaimed, laying her hand on Evan's forearm as she turned toward him a little more.  "I was there a couple years ago for a friend's wedding, but I only got to stay a couple days, unfortunately.  But it snowed while I was there, so that was a definite plus!"

"It's a great place to live," he allowed.

Kishia giggled prettily, gazing at him as she sipped a glass of mineral water.  Even if he weren't able to smell the fact that the woman was more than willing to accommodate him—which he could—the way she was staring at him spoke volumes.  "If I'm ever up that way again, maybe I should give you a call," she said with a wink.

"Sure," Evan replied, knowing damn well that she wouldn't be doing any such thing.  Hell, they never did—not that it mattered to him.  It didn't.  He wasn't really looking for anything more than she was, anyway.

The soft beep of his cell phone drew his attention, but he tried to ignore it.  After all, he had a pretty good guess as to whom it was, and, more to the point, he had a pretty good idea what she was doing, too, considering she'd been doing it for the last three hours . . .

"Is everything okay?" Kishia asked, nodding at the phone he'd left sitting on the bar in front of him.

He opened his mouth to assure her that everything was just fine when the phone chimed again.  "It's fine," he said as he picked up the phone and quickly hit the button to check his messages.  The first one was a picture of Valerie, trying on a white sundress.  The second one was of her in the same sundress but with a ridiculously wide brimmed white hat covering her golden tresses.  "Just a friend of mine doing some shopping."

"She's pretty," Kishia ventured carefully, almost too carefully, leaning forward to see the screen on Evan's phone.  "Just a friend?"

Stifling a sigh at the hint of suspicion that had entered Kishia's gaze as well as the slightly dubious quality that had crept into her voice, Evan nodded and stuck his phone into the breast pocket of the plain blue plaid shirt he'd grabbed this morning.

"Yep, just friends," he repeated, wondering absently whether or not Kishia could hear the irritation in his tone that he hadn't been able to repress.  'That's right,' he reminded himself for the millionth time since he'd set off on his ill-fated vacation, 'just friends.'  He was really starting to hate that word, no doubt about it . . .

Kishia didn't look like she believed him, exactly, but she did look like she wanted to, and Evan figured that was good enough.  Motioning for the bartender to bring another drink, Evan stifled a sigh.  He ought to have known that Valerie would take him literally, and it was his own fault, he supposed, for having told her not to call him.  She hadn't done that, no, but the pictures were infinitely worse . . .

"So what do you do in New York City?" Kishia asked, drawing Evan back out of his reverie.

"Ah, you know . . . A little bit of this and a little bit of that," he said with a shrug.  "Nothing of interest."

She giggled and accepted the fresh drink that the bartender set down in front of her.  "Sounds mysterious," she teased.

"Not really," he insisted.

She started to answer, but blinked when Evan's phone chimed again.  He opted to ignore it, but Kishia didn't, raising her eyebrows as she reached forward and plucked Evan's phone from his pocket.

It was a video this time, and when Valerie told the sales girl that she was 'Mrs. Evan Zelig'—likely so that she could use the credit card he'd handed her on the yacht—he could only sigh even as he tried to remind himself that it was his suggestion, after all . . ..

"She's your wife?" Kishia said, her voice taking on an accusing tone.

"Uh, no!" Evan replied, rising to his feet to try to stop Kishia when she got up to leave.  "She's not," he stated once more.

"Look, I'm not interested in . . . Well, I'm just not," Kishia insisted as she stepped back away from Evan.

He heaved a sigh as he sank back onto the barstool once more.

It just figured, didn't it?  That was the fourth girl that he'd struck out with, and all because of Valerie and her damned pictures.  She was doing it on purpose, and he knew it.

'Or maybe you're just hoping that she is.'

'. . . Shut up.'

The trill of his phone interrupted his thoughts, and he frowned.  Why was Madison calling him . . .? "Hello?"

"Evan?  Oh, thank God!"

He chuckled when Madison's voice greeted him as he dropped some money onto the counter and headed for the door.  "Hey, Maddy.  What's up?"

She heaved a melodramatic sigh.  "I've been trying to reach you since last night," she pointed out.  "I need a favor from you."

"I was on the island last night," he told her, stepping out onto the sidewalk and pausing long enough to draw a deep breath and look up and down the street.  "There's no cell reception out there, but the satellite phone works fine."

Madison snorted.  "Why don't you get one of those receptor-thingies?  Never mind; I'll buy you one."

He chuckled.  "Don't worry about it, Maddy.  I'll get one if it'll make you feel better.  I just haven't had time to do that yet.  So what's your favor?"

She sighed again, only this one was much longer and much more of a hopeless sort of sound.  "I don't suppose you could unlock my car for me?"

"Locked your keys in there again?  You know, you can unlock the doors from your own phone," he reminded her.

She laughed somewhat nervously.  "Umm . . . Did I mention that I lost my other phone and got a new one today?"

He shook his head.  Somehow, that didn't really surprise him, either . . . "Okay," he told her as he wandered down the street.  "Give me a sec."

"Thanks, Evan.  You're a lifesaver . . . How's your vacation going?"

Her question put a slight damper on Evan's good mood.  "Eh, you know.  It's going."

"Hmm, that doesn't sound very positive," she mused.  "Not having a good time . . . You're not having problems with V, are you?"

"That woman's out to get me," he replied with a rueful sigh.

Madison giggled.  "Aren't they all out to get you, sweetie?"

Evan grunted, dragging a hand through his hair before pulling out his sunglasses and jamming them onto his face.  "Yeah, well, V wants to see me dead."

"Oh, I'm sure she doesn't," Madison reassured him despite the obvious amusement in her tone.  A moment later, she sighed, and Evan figured that she was about to say something that he wasn't necessarily going to welcome.  "Evan . . .?"

"Hmm?" he drawled, deciding not to make it easier for her to question him.

"You're not really going to go looking for girls, are you?" she asked in a decidedly blunt way.

"Yes, Maddy, I am," he replied.

"Are you sure that's what you want?"

She'd asked that neutrally enough.  He knew better.  "Maddy, drop it," he ordered.

"Fine," she agreed.  "So you're saying she's not the one for you?"

Rolling his eyes at her dubious tone, Evan snorted.  "It's not up to me," he grumbled.  "Just don't worry about it."

"But—"

"I mean it," he warned.

Letting out a deep breath, she was silent for a moment.  "All right," she finally relented despite the concern in her tone.  "So . . . I guess I should stop forwarding you the pictures that V keeps sending to me then?"

Stopping short, Evan grimaced.  He'd been so sure that Valerie had sent him those pictures that he hadn't even bothered to check to see whose number was coming up on his caller ID . . . "You were sending those?"

"Hmm, yeah . . . I figured you should see what she was thinking about buying with your money."

He grunted something completely unintelligible and started walking again.

"Just promise you won't do anything stupid, okay?"

"When do I do stupid stuff?" he countered.

"Hmm, do you really want me to answer that?"

Evan shook his head.  "Bye, Maddy."

"Bye."

He hung up the phone and let out a deep breath of his own as he opened the application to remotely unlock Madison's car.  For good measure, he flipped the locks a few times before figuring that she'd gotten the point.

Okay, so he could appreciate Madison's concern; of course he could.  That didn't mean that he was going to give up.  Far from it, actually.  Maybe he just needed to prove something to himself.  Maybe he was just blindly grasping at straws, but he had to know, didn't he?  One way or another, something had to give.  If he could just get the rampant lust that was consuming him out of his system, maybe he'd be able to think about things with a clearer head.

His cell phone beeped again, and he glanced at it without missing a step.  She was in a different store this time, and the deep red bikini she wore was enough to make him sigh.  The high, pert breasts . . . the trim stomach . . . the toned thighs . . . and visions of doing things to her that he really had no business thinking about at all . . . And Madison's message below the image.  "That's what you get for flipping the locks."

'Holy damn, that woman looks good . . .'

His youkai sighed in response.

Just what the hell did she think she was doing?  Was she really so naïve that she didn't realize just how these pictures were going to affect him?  Of course she knew that.  Madison always knew what the sight of something like that could do.  How the hell else had he gotten himself into this mess, to start with . . .?

There was no other explanation for it, was there?  Madison actually was trying to kill him, too.

No doubt about it, he needed to find a woman, and he needed to do it fast.  If he didn't, then he wouldn't be held responsible for what happened, and if she wanted to be angry at him, then so be it because as far as he was concerned, she had no one to blame but herself, all things considered.

As soon as that thought occurred to him, however, he dismissed it, too.  No, that was the trouble, wasn't it?  Sure, he wanted Valerie—maybe more than he'd ever wanted any other woman before, but . . .

But he wanted her to want him, too, and that was the crux of the problem, wasn't it?


~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~= ~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
A/N:
'Paradise City' first appeared on Guns n' Roses' 1987 release, Appetite for Destruction.  Song written by and copyrighted to the Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, Slash.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
They're all trying to kill me!
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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 131
Chapter 133
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