InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ One Fine Day ( Chapter 140 )

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


'When I get high
'I get high on speed
'Top fuel funny car's
'A drug for me …'

-'Kickstart My Heart' by Mötley Crüe


Marching back into the house, Valerie wasn't surprised to find that Evan was still fast asleep, sprawled out on the bed.  She considered letting him continue to sleep for about a minute while she filled two coffee cups and started over to wake him up.  When she spotted the empty plastic bag on the counter, however, she set the mugs down and reached for that instead before crossing the space as she cupped the opening and methodically blew up the bag.  'What's good for the goose, right?' she thought without an ounce of reticence as she squeezed the opening shut and spared a moment to cock her head to the side, staring at the blissfully sleeping man.  "Hmm, how sweet," she mused seconds before she smashed her hands together, only to be rewarded by a thunderous 'pop'—and a man who nearly jumped out of his skin.

"What the—? Where?  Fuck!" Evan exclaimed, blinking fast as he stumbled through the mosquito netting.

Valerie giggled and held up the bag for his inspection.  "Look familiar, Roka?" she asked dryly.

It took a moment for Evan to reconcile the noise that had roused him with the bag in Valerie's slack hand, and when he finally did, he snorted and dove through the netting once more.  "Christ, woman," he grumbled.  "Give me a heart attack, will you?"

Rolling her eyes, Valerie dropped the bag into the garbage can and retrieved the mugs of coffee before stepping over to the bed.  "What?  It was funny when you did it to me, right?  Suck it up," she told him brusquely.  "Are you going to stay in bed all day?"

"Not talking to you now," he muttered, affecting a high-pitched voice that made her giggle.

"Whatever," she retorted, lifting one of the mugs of coffee to her lips.  "Then I'll just drink this myself."

He turned his head just far enough to glance at her out of the corner of his eye.  "You made me coffee?" he asked warily.

"Don't get used to it," she told him, sticking a mug through the mosquito netting.  "It's just because you decided to sleep the whole day away."

Lifting his head far enough to peer at the clock, he snorted as he plopped back down again.  "It's ten, V—not even ten," he informed her.  "The whole day, my butt."

"Yes, well, time's a-wastin'," she replied, jiggling the mattress with her foot until he sat up and reached for the coffee.  "We've got things to do, places to be."

Evan shifted his gaze to the side and blinked at her over the rim of the cup.  "Okay, who are you, and what did you do with V?" he demanded.

"Hmm, it might interest you to know that I got a surprise for you," she told him with a flutter of the hand before she lifted the cup of coffee to her lips once more.  "But if you don't want it, then that's fine, too."

Intrigue.  Definite intrigue.  Evan blinked and gulped down the rest of his drink then stood up.  "You got something for me?" he repeated as though he didn't believe her.

She nodded as she wandered back over to refill her cup once more.  "Yep, but if you don't want it, then it's fine."

"I want it; I want it!" he insisted, not unlike a very young child.  "Where is it?"

"It's outside, but—ack!" Valerie squeaked when Evan grabbed her hand and started to drag her off.  She barely had time to set the cup down before she spilled it all over herself as he headed toward the door.  "Let go so I can finish my coffee," she demanded, to no avail.

"In a minute—du-u-u-u-ude!" he breathed as they stepped outside.  Valerie pulled away but didn't go back inside for her drink right away.  "Dune buggies?  Wicked!"  He started to dart down the steps to inspect the machines but stopped short and swung around to look at her.  "Where did these come from?"

"I bought them yesterday while you were picking out the scuba gear," she told him.  "Don't touch the pink one.  It's mine."

He laughed and ran over to inspect the larger black dune buggy.  "I thought about getting one of these before," he told her as he leaned into it to get a better look at the controls.  "Holy crap!  These must've cost you a pretty penny."

"Don't remind me, Roka," she replied a little dryly.

"I can pay for them," he said, sparing a moment to cast her a grin.

Valerie waved a hand in what she hoped was a nonchalant sort of way.  "Forget it, rocker boy.  Those are on me."

She rolled her eyes but smiled as she padded back into the house to grab her cup of coffee.  Returning to the porch, she watched from the doorway as Evan continued to check it out, ignoring the little voice in the back of her mind that was bemoaning the cost of the ATVs.  Impulse buying was really not her thing, especially when they were close to fifteen thousand dollars apiece, and that was before the cost of the extra fuel pods, helmets, and delivery charges were added on.  The delivery charge was something she really didn't want to think about at the moment.  Considering the store had to bring them over by boat, well . . .

But she was looking around the sporting goods store, and when she'd seen them, she just knew that he'd have a blast, motoring all over the island on one, and she'd just wanted to get something fun.  Besides, the cost would be worth it, wouldn't it, as long as Evan had a good time.  It was a vacation, after all.  The least she could do was to make sure that he enjoyed himself as much as she was . . .

Besides, after last night, the break in the tension was a welcome change.  The afternoon had gone well.  Evan hadn't lied when he'd predicted that she'd love scuba diving.  Seeing the beauty of the world under the water was something she'd never, ever forget, and the only way he'd actually convinced her to stop was to promise her that he'd bring her out again before their vacation was over.

In fact, they'd gotten along strangely well despite Evan's marked quietness as the evening wore on.  He'd cooked dinner, and he'd sat on the beach with her as they watched the sunset, but all the while, she'd felt the invisible space between them like a wall that hadn't been there before.  They were both being a little too cautious, a little reluctant to upset one another, and while she didn't exactly like the divide, she wasn't entirely sure what to do about it, either.

She'd spent the evening, reading through the files she'd brought with her as she sat in one of the hanging chairs.  The nap Evan had taken just after they'd talked that morning must not have been enough, though.  He'd fallen asleep around ten o'clock, and Valerie had quietly made up a pallet on the floor . . .

The sound of an engine drew her out of her reverie, and Valerie blinked.  Evan had climbed into his dune buggy and was revving it unmercifully.  "C'mon, V!" he hollered, raising his voice to be heard over the din.  "Last one to the south end's a Pinkle eater!"

"Ah!" she grunted, setting the coffee mug on the bench next to the door.  "You're cheating!" she yelled at him.  "Where's your helmet?"

His laughter carried back to her as he took off, leaving behind a squall of sand.  "Oh, that jerk!" she muttered as she ran over to the pink ATV.  Her stern tone was completely undermined by the little laugh that slipped from her as she tried to figure out the best way to get into the buggy.  It took her longer to get into it, and even longer when she had to pause long enough to fasten her helmet.  "Wants to play like that, does he?  All right, Roka.  It's on."


"There you go.  Should be good now."

Valerie frowned as she eyed the connections for the energy pod.  "Thanks," she replied, satisfied that it was fully engaged.  "How's yours?"

Evan grinned at her.  "I've still got about a quarter left in mine," he told her.  "I'm all right for a while."

"Why am I burning through fuel faster than you are?" she asked, standing up and crossing her arms over her chest.

"Dunno, V," he said with a shrug.  "Maybe you've got a lead foot."

She wrinkled her nose but didn't gainsay him.  Considering she'd beaten him in four of the five circuits around the island so far, she must have secretly agreed with him.  "It's not my fault that you don't know how to handle these babies," she informed him with a haughty flick of her wrist.  "And you call yourself a rock star."

He snorted but chuckled at her blatant taunt.  "You know, I'd say something, but I'll be nice.  Let me point out, though, that you're the one who keeps issuing the challenges after you've already gotten a head start."

She grinned, apparently seeing nothing at all wrong with that.  "Don't be a sore loser, Roka," she purred, patting his cheek as she strolled past him, heading toward the porch.  "I'm going to go grab something to eat.  You want anything?"

"I don't know," he called after her, leaning back on his heels, scratching his chin in an idle sort of way.  "You're not going to try to give me a bowl of fruit salad and tell me that it's lunch, are you?"

"There's nothing wrong with having a light lunch," she informed him, raising her voice to be heard from inside the house.  "In fact, it's good for you."

He snorted but smiled just a little.  "Sure, it's good," he agreed.  "Especially if you want to have the runs for the next week."

"If you'd eat more healthfully to start with, you wouldn't have that problem," she pointed out.  "Your body's all screwed up from the way you eat now.  It'd do you some good to purge all the toxins, anyway."

"Toxins?" he repeated, following her into the house and slipping past her to get into the refrigerator.  "You're starting to sound like the Bitches of food."

Wrinkling her nose as she popped a hunk of papaya into her mouth, she shook her head.  "Don't think I'll suggest getting naked to cleanse your colon, Roka."

"Hmm, that wouldn't be such a great thing, now would it?" he countered, sparing a moment to cast her a goofy grin before reaching for the plastic container that held a boiled conch left over from dinner last night.

She watched as he made quick work of opening the shell and extracting the meat.  "So what are you making this time?" she finally asked as he gave the meat a rough chop and reached for a small onion.  "Something that'll clog your arteries, I don't doubt?"

He scooped the meat into a bowl then added a glob of mayonnaise before tearing up some herbs and tossing them in, too.  "Conch salad, baby," he told her with a wink as he squeezed half a lime into the mix.  "Now that's what I'm talking about!"

Shaking her head despite the slight smile on her face as she picked at her fruit bowl, Valerie leaned away when he offered her a forkful of the conch salad.  "You eat your salad; I'll eat mine," she said as he hacked into a crusty roll to split it open.

"Suit yourself, V," he agreed, scooping all the conch onto the roll and carefully cutting it in half before taking a huge bite out of one as he opened the cupboard to grab a plate.  "Damn, this is good."

She smiled as he slapped the sandwich onto the plate then put the mayonnaise back into the refrigerator and nabbed two bottles of beer.  Then he picked up his plate, balancing everything in one hand as he gestured for her to follow.

It was too nice a day to stay cooped up inside, even if they were just eating.  She sat next to him in the sand, her expression completely serene as she scanned the horizon in a lazy sort of way.  "I think I'll lay out for a while after lunch," she mused quietly.  "What are you going to do?"

He shrugged and handed her a beer.  "Was thinking about going scuba diving again," he replied, sliding his hand up the bottle so that he could twist the cap off for her.  "What do you think?  You up for it?"

"It was fun," she allowed with a hesitant smile.

"We could go a little deeper today.  What do you think?" he cajoled, taking a healthy swig of beer before turning to the second half of his conch roll.

"Hmm, I could," she allowed as she leaned toward him to get a better look at his sandwich.  "That doesn't actually look too bad."

"Here," he said, holding it out to let her take a bite.  "You don't have to eat it all.  Just try it."

She stared at it for another moment then leaned forward and bit down.

"So?" he asked, raising an eyebrow as he watched her chew thoughtfully.

She swallowed and let out a deep breath.  "It's good," she admitted.  "It's really good."

"You want this half?" he asked, offering it to her with a smile.

Valerie looked mightily tempted.  "N-No.  It's yours," she told him despite the fact that she was staring rather longingly at it.

He chuckled and stuck the sandwich into her hand.  "I tell you what," he said, reaching across her for the fruit salad.  "You eat what you want of it, and I'll eat some fruit, too."

"Is this what you'd call 'compromise'?" she asked moments before biting into the sandwich.

"Yep," he told her, popping a piece of mango into his mouth.

She laughed but kept eating.  Evan figured she'd probably eat about half of it before she decided that she was full.  That was all right.

Stealing a glance at her, he took another bite of her salad.  It had surprised him, hadn't it?  That she'd actually bought dune buggies didn't just surprise him, it flabbergasted him to be honest.  Still some small part of him could understand it.  She really did want to show him that she cared, and it wasn't the cost of the items that was enough to make him wonder, but they were things that she thought he'd really like.  Just to cut loose and to have fun . . . It was nice, and yet . . .

And yet he still couldn't quite shake the nagging idea that he really didn't deserve her efforts.  To say that her reaction to his confession about the women had surprised him would be a gross understatement.  He supposed that he'd expected her to be angry, to rant and rave at him.  He supposed that he'd ultimately figured that she'd withdraw, pull herself away, and she hadn't.  While he had to admit that it was a relief, it also bothered him, didn't it?  There wasn't doubt in his mind that her reaction had everything to do with the things he'd said to her.  She seemed almost subdued, didn't she?  It wasn't at all what he'd come to expect from the gorgeous attorney, and, well, he didn't like it in the least.

"What you do is your choice.  It's just . . . These women that you're looking for . . . They don't know you, nothing about you.  They don't know that you . . . that you look at stars or . . . or how much you love your mama.  They don't know that you'd protect your friends, even if it meant that you'd spend years in jail for it.  They don't know that you love to cook or that you can play every instrument under the sun.  They don't know how . . . They don't know how you hold your niece in your arms like she's the most precious thing on earth.  They don't know how truly beautiful you are on the inside, and . . . and I just wish that they did.  I . . . just wish that you did."

Evan sighed.  Just how much had it cost her to say all that to him?  It wasn't the kind of thing that she normally said to anyone.  It caught him off guard at the time.  He supposed that he had never thought that she'd put that much consideration into it, and even if she wasn't ready to admit that her feelings might run deeper, that was all right, too.  Any concession was better than none, as far as he was concerned.  She really didn't like to look deep into herself, did she?  Not that he could fault her for that.  He wasn't too keen on doing that, either.

'Face it, rockstar.  What bothers you the most is that you think she doesn't care as much as you want her to,' his youkai-voice stated.

Evan made a face.  'It's not that,' he insisted.  'She was crying.  You know she was.  If she'd yelled at me . . .'

'If she'd yelled at you, then it would have let you off the hook, right?  It's easier to deal with that, isn't it?  Either you get mad right back or you can make a big, fucking joke out of it.  You know what I think?'

'Do I want to?'

'Don't be a bitch.  If you ask me, it's better this way.'

'Better?  Why?  Because I don't have to feel bad about being an asshole?' Evan shot back.

'No, stupid.  Think about it.  She didn't get angry because she cares.  She didn't get angry because getting mad at someone is what you do when you're pissed off at a friend.  You hurt her, and that's not good, but it shows that she really does care—she cares a hell of a lot more than she's willing to admit.'

'Well, that's wonderful,' Evan thought with an inward grimace.  'Thanks for making me feel worse about it all.'

'Don't feel worse,' his youkai advised in a pragmatic sort of way.  'Just keep that in mind the next time you try to tell yourself that she doesn't care because we both know that it isn't true—and maybe it'll keep you from going off, half-cocked the next time.'

Letting out a deep breath, Evan slowly shook his head.  No, it really didn't make him feel better; not at all.  If anything, it made him feel just a little worse.  Not for the first time, he had to wonder just how hard everything would be if she hadn't been so damaged early on in life.  That thought, however, only served to heighten his irritation.  For ten cents and a bus ticket, he'd go to Kentucky, find her 'parents' and let them know exactly what he thought of their brand of nurturing . . .

'And that's another thing,' his youkai went on.  Evan frowned.  'Are you ever going to tell her what you know?'

That was enough to give him pause.  He hadn't really considered that since they'd returned from Christmas in Maine.  He hadn't wanted to ruin her holiday, so he hadn't told her then, and he'd intended to tell her about it when they got home.  Too bad Madwin's sudden appearance had gotten in the way.  That—and everything that had come after that—had pushed it all out of his mind, too . . .

Shifting his gaze to peek at her out of the corners of his eyes, Evan frowned.  She was concentrating on that sandwich with a very pleased look on her face, and maybe the memory of her stricken expression was just still too fresh in his mind.  Here they were, surrounded by the beauty of the tropics, and with just a few more days left for him to make it up to her for having pretty well ruined the first half of their vacation, how in the world was he supposed to tell her any such thing?

As though she sensed the darkness of his thoughts, she turned toward him, the sandwich in her hands lowering a little.  "What's the matter?" she asked quietly.

He could have kicked himself when he saw the flash of anxiety that crossed her features for a moment before she managed to conceal it.  "Uh, nothing," he assured her quickly, pasting on a smile just for her.  "I was thinking that maybe we should make a trip to Mayaguana tomorrow.  You know, buy something to cover those up so they don't get ruined if it rains."

She didn't look like she really believed him.  "Evan," she said slowly, carefully, her tone a little too neutral, he suspected.  "Are you still . . .? I mean, if this is about that . . . that fight . . ."

"No," he told her, and this time, his smile was real.  "It's not; I swear."

Biting her lip, she frowned for a moment before opening her mouth to speak.

He was quicker as he reached over and pressed his index finger to her lips.  "Don't you dare apologize again, V."  With a sigh, he let his hand fall away and drained the rest of his beer.  "Neither of us is perfect, right?  Maybe it's time we stopped pretending to be."

She nodded slowly though the expression on her face was dubious at best.

"Anyway, just so you know, I'm still glad you came with me," he went on.

She stared at him for several seconds, but she finally smiled, too.  "You know," she said with a gentle laugh.  "I am, too, Roka.  I am, too . . ."

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~= ~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Kickstart My Heart' first appeared on Mötley Crüe's 1989 release, Dr. Feelgood.  Song written by and copyrighted to Nikki Sixx.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Knittingknots ------ Simonkal of Inuy ------ badgirl093 ------ maidengarnet ------ inugurl338 ------ ladygeri ------ iheartinuyasha426 ------ Cricket42 ------ Nate Grey (A very noble cause, indeed LOL) ------ Titiana ------ renomaru ------ puppypal27 ------ theablackthorn ------ fanfic7inu ------ AtamaHitoride ------ Nozome ------ slsonic
madhatter ------ sydniepaige ------ MouF ------ cutechick18 ------ indigorrain ------ amohip ------ Katterrena ------ lianned88 ------ reina q ------ Gambi
Thought from Valerie:
Something's bothering him still ...
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 139
Chapter 141
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