InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ As She Will ( Chapter 133 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Three~~
~As She Will~


-OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'< i>I'm gettin' bugged driving up and down the same old strip …
'I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip
'My buddies and me are getting real well known
'Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone …'

-'I Get Around' by the Beach Boys


-Valerie-


Tugging the earphones out of her ears, Valerie sat up when Evan strode past, whistling a song under his breath and heading in the direction of the dock.

"Where are you going?" she called after him when it became apparent that he had no intention of saying anything to her at all.

"Where do you think?" he tossed back over his shoulder without stopping.  "I'm going back to Mayaguana, grabbing the first woman I see, and then I'm gonna spend the rest of the day fucking the hell out of her."

She made a face as she scampered to her feet and took off after him.  It wasn't exactly surprising.  He'd been threatening to do that since they'd arrived.  "But you promised to take me on a tour of your island," she pointed out a little breathlessly when she caught up to him on the edge of the dock.

He still didn't stop, but he did peer over his shoulder at her.  "No, I didn't," he contradicted.  "I offered to do that last night, but you didn't want to, if I recall."

Shrugging in what she hoped was an offhanded way, Valerie crossed her arms over her chest and frowned at him.  "I was tired last night," she pointed out.  "I'm not tired today."

"Glad to hear it," he said as he hopped off the dock and onto the yacht.

"But what am I supposed to do all day out here alone?" she continued, following him onto the yacht to continue her argument.

"Lay out in the sun.  Read a book.  Go for a walk.  Go swimming or something."

Biting her lip, she scowled at him.  He didn't notice since he was too busy checking the yacht.  "Okay, fine, then.  Just give me a couple minutes to get dressed, and I'll come with you."

That got his attention quickly enough.  "Oh . . . no," he stated flatly.  "Yeah, you can forget about that."

She wrinkled her nose but stubbornly held her ground.  "Don't be stupid, Roka!  You won't even know I'm there!"

Crossing his arms over his chest, he cocked an eyebrow at her.  "Like yesterday, you mean?"

She rolled her eyes.  "That wasn't my fault.  How was I supposed to know that Madison would send you those pictures?" she rebutted.

Evan snorted.  "Keh!  Yeah, well, that's why you're not coming with me today."

"Oh, come on," she argued when he stepped forward to usher her back onto the dock.  "I'll . . . I'll even help you!" she blurted, struck by sudden inspiration.

"Help me?" he echoed dubiously.  "Help me, how?"

"I'll help you pick out your . . . your women," she decided.  "I'll . . . I'll be your wingman."

He blinked slowly a few times.  "I don't need a wingman," he told her, "and I definitely don't need a female wingman."

"Sure you do!" she insisted, grasping his wrist before he could scoop her up to hop back off the yacht.  "I can help you!  I mean, who would know a woman better than another woman, right?"

He was hard pressed not to roll his eyes.  She could see it in his face as he crossed his arms over his chest and stared at her.  "And why would you want to do that, V?" he asked in a deceptively quiet tone.

"Well," she drawled, twining her fingers together in a decidedly nervous kind of way, "we're friends, and . . . and that's the kind of thing a friend does . . ."

Why did he suddenly look so ticked off?  Maybe not completely ticked off, but not happy, by any stretch of the imagination . . . "Is that what they do?" he parried.  "Lucky me."

Heaving a sigh at the caustic hitch in his voice, Valerie couldn't help it when her shoulders slumped, and she slowly shook her head.  "Why do you think you need to do this?" she heard herself asking despite her resolve not to ask him any such thing.

"Why?" he repeated, his voice taking on a mildly incredulous tone.  "You're seriously asking me why?"

She nodded once.

He snorted and barked out a terse laugh that was about as dry as it could be.  "Were you not there this morning, V?  Or yesterday morning, for that matter . . ."

Frowning slightly since she wasn't entirely sure what he was talking about, she shook her head.  "What does that have to do with anything?" she countered.  "Of course I was there."

The look he pinned her with stated quite plainly that he believed that she was being dense on purpose.  "Never mind," he bit out.  "Just do me a favor tonight and stay on the floor."

"That's not my fault," Valerie contended.  "I've stayed on the floor at night!  I don't have any idea how I keep ending up on your bed!"

For a moment, she thought he might actually lose his temper.  As it was, though, he just rubbed his face in a weary sort of way and drew a deep breath as he planted his hands on his hips.  "Whatever, V.  Look, I'm going alone, okay?  And you're going to stay here.  Don't call me—I mean it."

She made a face and opened her mouth to argue with him.  He was faster.  "You promised, remember?"

She sighed.  Okay, so she did promise him that she wouldn't interfere if he decided to take off to do something like this.  The thing was, she hadn't actually thought he'd want to, had she?  She hadn't thought that he was serious . . .

"What if there's a storm?" she blurted before he could escort her off the yacht.  "Tropical storms can be bad, you know."

He scooped her up and hopped back onto the deck then set her on her feet again.  "There's nothing but sunshine in the forecast," he assured her dryly.

"But what if one does blow up?" she persisted.

"Then you can hide in the cellar," he said.

She didn't look impressed with that idea, but she had to admit grudgingly that it was sound advice.  "What if I cut myself on a shell or something?"

"Watch where you walk," he replied.

"Or if I get hungry?"

"There's food in the fridge."

She wrinkled her nose.  "Not those bananas," she pointed out.

"Then climb a tree and hack some down."

"What if I fall out of the tree?"

He rolled his eyes.  "You'll land on sand.  I highly doubt you'd hurt yourself if you landed on the sand."

"It's possible," she shot back.

"Okay, okay, it's possible," he allowed curtly.  "Then don't climb any of the trees.  You can do without bananas for one day."

"Fine, but what if some . . . Some prison escapee or someone else shows up?  You'd feel bad if some deranged sociopath kidnapped me."

He blinked and stared, nonplussed, at her.  "Prison escapee, V?"

"It could happen!" she insisted hotly.

"You'll be fine," he told her, raking his hands through his hair and looking completely and totally exasperated.  "It's only for one day," he finally said, his voice, quiet, almost pleading.   "I'll be your . . . your friend . . . tomorrow, all right?  Just . . . Just leave me alone today—just for one day; that's all I ask.  Can you do that?"

She wanted to stop him.  She wanted to try harder to get him to stay.  Something, though . . . Something just below the irritation . . . an emotion that she couldn't quite define . . .

But it was that emotion, wasn't it?  That was what stilled her tongue, what made her take a step back, watching in silence as he ducked inside the wheelhouse, as he started the engine and maneuvered away from the dock . . .

The strange brightness that illuminated his gaze, what was it?

Staring after the yacht as it grew smaller and smaller on the horizon, Valerie sighed.

'Maybe . . .' she thought as she lifted a hand to shield the sun from her eyes.  Maybe she didn't really want to know . . .


-Evan-


The soft wind blowing off the ocean carried the salty tang that was only present in the late afternoon: the kind of smell that took an entire day's worth of sunshine to create: the briny undertones punctuated by the aroma of warmed fruit trees.  It was a wholly lazy kind of scent in Evan's estimation, perfect for a beer, the strum of a street musician that had taken up in the open air pub, and the welcome attention of an absolutely gorgeous native island girl named Maya.

"You are staying on Mayaguana?" she asked, casting Evan a sultry smile that was as exotic as the slight tilt of her smoky gaze.

"No," he replied, pinning on a lazy grin as he tried not to wonder if Valerie really was all right.  "Just here for the day."

"Oh, that's a shame," she said, leaning in close enough that Evan could feel the warmth of her radiating off her skin.  "I'd love to, as you say, show you around."

Brushing aside the feeling that maybe he ought to at least call to check on Valerie, Evan willed his grin to brighten a few degrees as he let his gaze roam up and down Maya's curvaceous frame.  "Depends on what you want to show me," he replied.

She giggled almost shyly despite the knowing lilt in her smile.  "Would you like a personal tour?" she asked coyly.

Evan chuckled, but the sound died away when his cell phone rang.

He already knew who it was before he ever pulled it out of his pocket.  Glancing at the caller ID, only to see the number of the satellite phone, he sent the call to voicemail before he could talk himself out of it.  "Sorry about that," he apologized as he stood up and reached out a hand.  "About that private tour . . .?"

She took his hand and let him help her to her feet, her hips swaying very nicely under the vibrant orangey-red cotton wrap she wore over the yellow bikini that set off her caramel complexion very, very nicely.  Slipping an arm around her as he led her out of the pub, Evan ignored the twinge of guilt that he hadn't answered the call.

And yet, he wasn't entirely surprised, either, when his cell chimed a moment later, announcing the arrival of a text message.  For a moment, he considered ignoring it, too, but in the end, he sighed and pulled the device out of his pocket.  "Just a minute," he said in an apologetic tone.

Maya smiled at him but stopped while he opened the message.

"Shit!" he exploded, eyes widening in shock as he stared at the image that opened.  Without a second thought, he turned to go as he pulled up the number of the satellite phone.

"Uh, wait!" Maya called, chasing after him.

Evan blinked and glanced at the girl.  It took him a moment to remember who she was and what she was doing there.  "Sorry," he said without breaking his stride.  "I gotta go."

"O-Oh," she said, stopping hesitantly.  "Will I see you later?"

"I don't know," Evan called back, hitting the button to connect the call.

She said something else.  He didn't pay any attention to her.  She was forgotten as quickly as she'd ever occurred to him as he hurried down the street in the direction of the docks where he'd anchored the yacht.

"Evan?  Do you have a first aid kit out here?"

"V," Evan said, closing his eyes for a moment as relief washed over him at the sound of her voice.  "What the fuck happened?"

She sighed.  "What do you think happened?" she snapped.  "I cut my damn foot open; that's what."

"I realize that," he replied.  "What did you cut your foot on?"

"A shell—I think."

"A shell?" he repeated, scowling at the picture.  The cut on the arch of her foot looked deep, damn it, and hell if there wasn't a shitload of blood there, too . . . He swallowed hard, biting back the bile that rose in the back of his throat, fighting back the surges of panic as he broke into a near-sprint, weaving in and out of the wandering pedestrians thick on the sidewalk.  "What'd you do?  Fall out of the banana tree onto the damn thing?"

"No, you ass," she shot back.  The irritation of her tone didn't cover up the little groan that slipped out after her words.  "I was taking a walk."

"Weren't you wearing shoes?" he demanded.

She snorted.  "Who goes for a walk along the beach wearing shoes?"

"People who don't have the common sense to watch where they're going," he growled.

"I was watching where I was going," she insisted, her pitch rising with her temper.  "It was buried.  I didn't see it."

"You might have if you'd been looking down," he retorted.

"Did you not just hear me say that it was buried?" she demanded.

Evan stopped outside a doctor's office near the docks.  "Is your foot elevated?" he asked, willing himself to calm down.

"I just got back up here," she said.  Her voice sounded tired, and he grimaced.  Insane visions of Valerie, lying on the beach while her blood drained out of her gouged foot assailed him, and he had to grit his teeth to keep from freaking out completely.  "All right, baby, listen," he said, hoping that his voice was calmer than it sounded in his own ears.  "I'm going to get a doctor, and then I'll be right there, okay?  I want you to sit down, put some pressure on your foot, and get it elevated."

"How am I supposed to put pressure on it while I'm elevating it?" she demanded.

"Has it stopped bleeding?"

She heaved a sigh.  "I don't know.  If I look, then I won't be applying pressure."

"Okay," he said, figuring that it was more important at the moment to make sure that she had pressure on the wound.  "The first aid kit should be in the bathroom—"

"The one with the big, red cross on it, right?"

For a moment, Evan wondered if she was being obtuse on purpose.  "Yes, V."

"Yeah, that's empty," she informed him.

Evan sighed, too.  "All right.  I'll call you back in a few minutes."

Valerie muttered something that Evan couldn't quite hear.

"Answer the phone when I call back," he told her.

"Evan?"

He brought the phone back up to his ear.  "Yeah?"

". . . I'm sorry for interrupting you."

For some reason, he was surprised by her apology.  "Don't worry about it," he told her.  "I'll call you back."

"Okay," she said.  Something about her voice . . . She was near tears, wasn't she?

"It'll be all right," he told her gently.  "I'll be there as fast as I can."


-Valerie-


"How you feeling?"

Shifting her gaze to the side without turning her head, she shot Evan as close to a doleful scowl as she could manage.  "I'd be better if I hadn't gotten that shot," she told him.  "It was a shell.  Why did I need a tetanus shot, anyway?"

He chuckled.  "You couldn't remember the last time you had one," he reminded her.  "At least you won't need another one for awhile."

She snorted and leaned back in the sand to gaze up at the stars.

Evan smiled wanly, and with a sigh, he sank down beside her, extending a bottle of water to her.  "You need another pain killer?"

Shaking her head, Valerie carefully shifted so that she could stick her bandaged foot up on Evan's lap.

"Leave it to you to find the one and only shell on the entire beach," he teased her, rubbing her ankle above the white gauze.

"Shut up, Roka," she pouted.  "The doctor didn't mind making a house call, did he?"

Evan shrugged.  "Nah, and besides, he got paid pretty damn well for it."

"Sorry you had to make another trip, just to take him back."

"Don't worry about it," he told her.  "I got your prescriptions filled, too, so it's all good."

"Guess I ruined your plans," she ventured sheepishly.

"Eh, there's always tomorrow."

She could hear the teasing note in his tone, but his words still drew a frown from her.  "Evan," she began, only to trail off when he pulled a joint out of his pocket and lit it.  "What are you doing?" she demanded instead.

"Relax, V," he said, blowing out a puff of smoke.  "It's legal here."

Biting her lip, she sighed.  "Just because something's legal doesn't mean you ought to do it," she replied though her tone lacked any real censure.  Too tired to put up much of a fight about it, she supposed.  After all, the pain killer that Evan had given her shortly after he'd returned to the island after taking Dr. Hrnagani back to Mayaguana was starting to kick in, leaving her feeling exhausted, if not a little spacey.

"Maybe you should go lie down," Evan ventured at length.

She could feel him watching her.  "In a bit," she said, staring up at the night sky.  Amazing how clear it was.  Amazing how many stars could be seen—more than she'd ever seen before in one place . . . bright and beautiful and somehow majestic . . . "Hey, Roka?  How many stars do you think there are in the skies?"

Evan stared at her for a moment before following the direction of her gaze.  "No idea," he admitted simply.  "Doesn't really matter, does it?  They're beautiful, just the way they are."

"I remember one time," she went on as though she hadn't heard him speak.  "Marvin was walking me back to my dorm after one of our first dates, and I told him that I thought stars were pretty.  You know what he said?"

Sighing softly, Evan shook his head, and when she glanced at him, she frowned when she saw the irritated expression on his face—at least, she thought it was irritation.   Half-hidden in the stark shadows of the night, it was hard to tell.  "No," he replied, his voice taking on an oddly stiff kind of tone.  "What did he say?"

"He said he'd never really noticed," she replied with a wan little smile.  She wasn't sure why, but the idea that Marvin hadn't noticed something as basic as the beauty of the stars . . . It made her sad, didn't it?


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A/N:
'I Get Around' first appeared on The Beach Boys' 1964 release, All Summer Long.  Song written by and copyrighted to Brian Wilson and Mike Love.
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Final
Thought from Evan:
A seashell
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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 132
Chapter 134
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