InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Misunderstandings ( Chapter 148 )

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


'I'm all out of faith
'This is how I feel
'I'm cold, and I am shamed
'Lying naked on the floor …'

-'Torn' by Natalie Imbruglia.


Heaving a sigh and drumming her fingernails on the steering wheel as she waited for the gates to swing open, Valerie had to wonder just why she'd thought that getting out of the bed was a good idea this morning.

Oh, sure, she had thought that it'd be all right.  In fact, she'd thought that it might be a pretty good day.  As she'd taken her shower and gotten ready for work, still smiling just a little as the memory of the fantastic dinner she'd shared with Evan at the very trendy le Femme restaurant.  He'd behaved himself pretty well, and she'd had a really good time with him despite the unsettling feeling inspired by the sight of him with short hair.

So it was rather shocking when the registered letter had arrived just after noon.

She should have known better than to have let her guard down, especially when it came to a certain errant rockstar . . .

Nodding at Bone, she pulled through the gates and continued down the driveway that led to the house.

It didn't take her long to park the car, and she downed a couple Tylenol and grabbed the papers she'd been served on his behalf as well as the slimfile she'd collated before getting out.

"Roka," she called when she stepped into the mansion.

He didn't answer, and she sighed as Munchies rounded the corner and slid to a halt, wagging his huge tail like crazy.  Valerie stared at him for a moment then scratched his head behind the ears rather grudgingly.  "Where is he, Munchies?" she asked, not actually expecting any kind of answer as she slipped the file onto the table just inside the living room.

Munchies gave a whine then took off again, stopping in the doorway to look back at her.  Raising her eyebrows in mild surprise, she followed him through the house and down the stairs to the finished basement that was decked out with a full and functioning gym.

Evan stopped in the middle of a bench press to grin at her, his silver hair caught back in a low hanging ponytail to keep it out of the way.  He must've gone in and had Madison fix it this morning, which wasn't here nor there, but she had to admit that she was glad to see him looking like his regular self again.  "Hey, V," he said, letting the bar down and tugging the earphones out.  "Didn't hear you come in.  Want to work out with me?"

Crossing her arms over her chest, Valerie shook her head.  "Can it, rocker boy," she retorted dryly.  "We've got to talk."

Pushing himself to his feet, he ambled over to grab a bottle of water out of the small refrigerator nearby.  "You sound way too serious for this time of day," he quipped, breaking the seal on the bottle with an efficient twist and draining half of it in a single gulp.

"'Serious' doesn't even begin to cover it."  Rubbing her forehead, Valerie drew a deep breath.  "This was delivered to my office," she said, holding up the blue backed court docket and waving it in his general direction.

He blinked and stared but didn't seem too concerned by it.  "Whatever it is," he stated before draining the rest of the water and tossing it toward the recycling bin, "I categorically deny my involvement."

She sighed as the throbbing in her head escalated by degrees.  "As if it's that simple," she muttered.  "This is serious, Evan."

For a second, he looked like he was going to crack another joke.  Then he sighed, too, and held out his hand.

She let him take the docket, and she waited while he looked it over.  It didn't take long for him to grasp the charges levied against him this time, however, and his expression shifted from one of amusement to one of mild surprise.  "Wow," he said though he lacked any real emotion as he handed back the docket and headed toward the stairs.

"Wow?" Valerie repeated incredulously, following him up the stairs.  "Is that really all you have to say?"

He shrugged and dropped onto the sofa in a slouch.  "What do you want me to say?  I told you already, it's not true."

She frowned.  "Okay," she allowed calmly.  After all, it was entirely possible that the entire thing was the machinations of some girl's imagination.  Considering who he was?  Considering his reputation?  It wasn't really that surprising, was it?  Couple that with the idea that he had to have money—any idiot could have figured that one out—and, well, she was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least for the moment.  "So you've never met this girl before?"

Evan snorted.  "Well, I never said that," he replied, lifting his arm, draping it over the back of the sofa.

She stared at him.  Hard.  "You have met her, then."

"I don't know," he explained in an almost nonchalant kind of way.  "I'm just saying that it's possible."

Controlling her urge to sigh, Valerie stalked over to retrieve the slimfile she'd set down when she'd arrived.  It only took her a moment to boot up the files, the images that were attached.  "Her," she said, flipping the file around so that he could see the girl in question.

He glanced at the image and shrugged.  "Maybe," he allowed.

"Maybe?" she repeated, shaking her head as she scowled at him.  "You don't remember her face?"

That shrug again.  Damned if he was going to take it seriously . . . "V, I see a lot of faces in my line of work, you know?  Maybe I've seen her before, maybe I haven't.  I don't really know."

"Did you sleep with her?" Valerie demanded in a no-nonsense way.

"I—well—I don't—Eh, I could have.  Do you have a picture of her pussy in there?"

Snapping her mouth closed, Valerie had to count to ten so that she could rein in her temper before she lost her patience entirely.  "This isn't a joke, Roka," she pointed out in a measured and deceptively calm tone.  "This girl is claiming that you're the father of her child!"

He rolled his eyes and broke into a grin like he honestly thought the entire thing was one big joke.  "I know that," he replied with another of those offhanded shrugs, "and I can see why you'd think that it's possible, but I'm telling you, it's not mine."

She sighed and leveled a no-nonsense look at him.  "How do you know that?"

"Easy.  I always use a rubber."

Valerie had to bite down hard for a moment to keep from growling in frustration at the man's devil-may-care attitude as well as his simplistic belief that using a condom would fix everything.  "You realize, right, that those things can fail.  If there was a hole in one or—"

"Not possible."

She rubbed her forehead furiously.  "That's what I'm trying to say!  It is possible!  Evan—"

"V, I swear to God, it's not my kid, and I get why you'd think it could be, but it isn't.  Can we just leave it at that?" he asked, finally looking as though something was getting through that thick skull of his.

She stared at him for a long moment then sighed.  "Okay, fine.  It's not your child.  Then it's easy.  You take a paternity test, and if it's proven that you're not, then that's that."

She wasn't sure what she was expecting, but it certainly wasn't the reaction she got.  Instead of arguing or fussing at her, instead of grouching or even telling her that it'd be fine, he laughed—in fact, he didn't just laugh.  No, the man actually threw his head back and nearly howled in amusement.  For almost two minutes straight, he laughed, so hard, in fact, that he had to wipe tears away when he finally managed to get himself under control again.

Crossing her arms over her chest, she glared at him.  "What, pray tell, is so damn funny?" she demanded in a deceptively quiet tone.

He was still wiping at his eyes, and damned if that idiotic grin wasn't still stuck fast to his face, either.  "No paternity test, V," he said, obviously taking it as a foregone conclusion that she was going to accept his edict.

'One-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi . . .' she counted in her head.  "And why not?"

He snorted incredulously.  "Because it isn't necessary.  I already told you; it's not my kid."

Heaving a sigh as she tried not to lose her temper at Evan's apparent nonchalance, Valerie took the slimfile and opened another picture attachment.  Then she turned it around so he could see the child in question.

"Cute pup," he remarked after barely glancing at the image.  "Not mine, but cute."

'Four-Mississippi, five-Mississippi, six-Mississippi . . .' "You didn't even look at him," she pointed out.

"Don't need to," he insisted with another shrug.

'Seven-Mississippi, eight-Mississippi, nine-Mississippi . . .' "Fine, then.  Good.  So you won't mind getting the test done.  It's not a big deal, just a little blood."

"No way," he countered mildly, grabbing a pillow and tossing it into the air, only to catch it on the way down and repeat the process again.  "No blood tests."

She opened her mouth to argue with him then snapped it closed when another thought occurred to her.  "Are you afraid of needles?"

"What?" he asked, blinking in surprise.  "Afraid of—?  No."

She rubbed her forehead again.  His reaction was absolutely perplexing.  She could understand that he didn't want to admit that the child could be his, but his adamant insistence?  Just what was he thinking, anyway?  "Okay, so you're not afraid of needles? Then why won't you just do this?"

Settling back, he blinked slowly at her, lazily—smugly.  "V, the kid isn't mine.  Isn't that good enough?"

"No, it isn't," she insisted, her irritation rising fast, quickly undermining any understanding that she had been feeling before.  "This isn't a joke, Evan, it's serious!  If the child isn't yours, great, but you need to prove it in court just like anyone else would have to!"

"V, look, it's just some chick who got knocked up around the same time that I just happened to be in town, right?  Understandable, isn't it?  I mean, who better to say is the daddy of your baby, but someone who actually has the money to pay for it, but I swear to God, the kid's not mine."

"And how do you know that?" she pressed.  "Just because you say so?  You know, even if I believe you—and that's a rather big 'if', given the way you're acting—your refusal to take a blood paternity test is absolutely ridiculous!  If you have nothing to hide, then it isn't a big deal, now is it?"

"Aw, give it a rest, woman," he grouched.  "I'm telling you that he's not mine, and that should damn well be good enough for you."

"Yeah, well, it's not," she snapped back,   "If anything, your refusal to take the test is only doing one thing: it's making me think that maybe—maybe—you're scared."

"Scared of what?" he challenged, his eyes still twinkling in an entirely amused sort of way.

"That the child is yours," she replied.

"You're starting to sound like a broken record, V," he told her.

"Am I?  You know," she said, scooping up her things and shaking her head almost sadly despite the irritation that she just couldn't hide.  "You don't have the slightest idea, do you?"

"About what?"

She snorted.  "Do you have any idea—any idea at all—what it feels like to grow up knowing that your parents—your father—didn't care about you?  That your father just didn't want to be a father, so to hell with you?  Do you know what it's like when someone asks you where your parents are, why you're not living with them, and you don't know why?"

"There's nothing even remotely similar between your situation and this chick's desire to take me for all I'm worth," he grumbled.  "Just drop it; will you?"

She almost growled in frustration but drew a couple deep breaths to keep from coming entirely unglued.  "No, I won't," she insisted stubbornly.  "You say that the kid's not yours, and maybe you're right, but you won't take the test to prove it?  And if you're wrong—if that boy is yours?  What then?  Are you going to play 'daddy'?  Or  are you just going to turn away from him without even bothering to acknowledge that it is possible that you might have screwed his mother—that the condom you used might have been defective or that it could have—could have—broken?  It happens all the time, Roka, and whether you like it or not, the chances that you could be his father are not that slim!  But you won't even consider that, right?"  She turned on her heel and started toward the door.  She wasn't sure where she was going, but she knew damn well that she had to put some space between Evan Zelig and herself.  Stopping in the doorway, she didn't turn back to look at him.  She just couldn't.  "I thought you were different, Evan," she said quietly.  "I thought that you, of all people, would take this seriously.  I thought you'd understand just how . . . how hurtful that can be."


She shook her head adamantly, still refusing to look at him.  "I mean it, Roka," she said, her voice dropping, unable to swallow the huskiness that gave away her emotions.  "If that child is yours . . . If he is . . . don't you dare . . ." Trailing off for a moment, she swallowed hard, blinked furiously to stave back the unwanted tears that threatened to spill over.  "Don't you dare turn your back on him.  It's not his fault.  He . . . He's just a kid . . ."

And she left.


Evan heaved a sigh as the sound of the front door closing drifted back to him where he sat, slouched on the sofa.  "Fuck," he muttered, smashing his hands over his face as he tried not to grimace.

"I thought you were different, Evan . . . I thought that you, of all people, would take this seriously.  I thought you'd understand just how . . . How hurtful that can be."

He hadn't meant to hurt Valerie again, had he?  In fact, that was the last thing he'd wanted to do.  He'd thought that if he'd just played it off as no big deal that she would, too.

He should have known better.

Oh, maybe the circumstances were vastly different, but the feeling had to be the same.  Regardless of what she believed, the idea of the little boy being caught up in the middle of this—That's what really bothered her, didn't it?

And if he had stopped to consider that before he'd started blowing off all of her questions, he'd have realized that a lot sooner, too . . .

The problem was, the boy wasn't his pup, and he knew that.  He was youkai, for all intents and purposes, and accidental pregnancies just didn't happen to youkai.  He knew well enough how that kind of thing worked.  Trouble was, Valerie didn't, and since he still couldn't tell her about all that stuff, how in the hell could he convince her otherwise?

"Damn it," he muttered, rubbing his forehead and scowling at the empty room.  "Shit . . ."

But he couldn't get any kind of blood test done, could he?  He seemed to recall having overheard Isabelle talking to Cain about that kind of thing before.  Youkai didn't have the same blood make up as humans did, or at least, that's what he thought she'd said.  

Grabbing his phone, Evan figured he might as well ask.  After all, if he could get away with having the test done, then Valerie wouldn't be upset anymore, right?

"Isabelle Marin."

"Hey, Bitty," Evan greeted.  "Got a minute?"

"Evan!" she exclaimed, her businesslike tone dissolving quickly.  "I've always got a minute for you.  So what do you need?"

He sighed and made a face.  "Well, I need some advice, actually."

"Advice?  So this isn't a social call?"

"Uh, no, unfortunately . . ."

"Okay," she allowed quickly enough.  "What kind of advice do you need?"

"I guess not advice, actually.  More like the answer to a question . . . I cannot take a blood test, right?"

She didn't answer for a moment.  "A blood test . . ." she finally said.  "Why do you need one of those?"

He winced, knowing damn well what was going to come next.  "Some girl is claiming that I fathered her child," he forced himself to say.

"Oh . . . Oh my," Isabelle said.  He could hear the amusement in her voice.  He should have known . . . "Oh, well, you can't get a DNA test, if that's what you mean."

He sighed again, mostly because of her tone.  She'd said it like she thought that he was being dense on purpose . . . "I figured as much," he replied.  "Any suggestions as to how I can avoid it?"

"Hmm," she drawled.  In the background, he could hear the definite tap of her claws against something hard—it sounded like wood, like a table or a desk—or a door . . . "Well, no," she said slowly, carefully.  "I mean, I imagine that a judge is going to demand it if you're going to claim that the child isn't yours.  I'm assuming that's what you're going to do, right?"

Another thought occurred to him, and he sat up a little straighter.  "Yeah, well, can't I have you do the test?  Then everyone's happy, right?"

Isabelle let out a deep breath.  "You could try that," she mused.  "I don't know that a judge is going to go for it, though.  More than likely, you'll be asked to repeat the test with a court-appointed lab, and if that's the case, then there's a damn good chance that the test will be done by a human facility.  Most of them are, anyway."


She sighed.  "This is something you should probably talk to Grandpa about," she suggested a little cautiously since she had a hunch as to how he'd take that particular suggestion.  "He has connections.  Maybe he can figure out how to handle this."

"The hell!" Evan snorted.  "Tell Cain?  Jesus, I'd rather pay for the kid for the rest of my life."

Isabelle uttered a low sound likely meant to pacify him.  "That's not really a good idea, either, don't you think?  After all, the child's human, right?  You can't drag a human child into anything, and you know it."

Evan scowled, wanting to disagree with Isabelle just on principle but unable to really do it.  "Shit," he grumbled, hating to admit that Isabelle had a point, even if she did.  "Damned if I couldn't do without the fucking lecture."

"Oh, I don't know," Isabelle gently intoned.  "Considering your profession?  I'm surprised that you haven't been sued for paternity before now, don't you?  Besides, Grandpa knows that you'd never father a child indiscriminately."

He wasn't as convinced as Isabelle, but he grunted.  "Yeah, well, thanks, Bitty."

She sighed.  "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you out."

"Yeah," he replied, a wry smile that kind of resembled a grimace twisting his features.  "Let me know if you think of any other options."

"Will do, sweetie.  Bye bye."

He glowered at the receiver after the phone call ended.  Talk to Cain about it?  "Keh!" he grunted, flopping against the sofa once more.

'Yeah, well, even if you don't wanna talk to him, you do need to figure out something.  In case you didn't notice, you upset V—a lot.'

'Aww, shut the hell up if you don't have something to say that I don't already know,' he complained.  'Just what the hell do you want me to do?  Tell her that I'd be fucking happy to take that goddamned test?'

'Yeah, but you know where she's coming from, right?  And there were better ways to handle things instead of just summarily ignoring her concerns.  First off, she's your attorney.  It's her job to keep your ass out of trouble.  Second off?  Jesus, Roka!  You know how she feels about her family, right?  Do you really think that she can just put her own feelings aside and watch you do to some other kid what her parents did to her?  Maybe it's not exactly the same thing, but it doesn't have to be, does it?  Damn, you're a fucking idiot, did you know?'

Snorting indelicately, Evan scowled at the ceiling.  The real problem was that he couldn't actually prove that he hadn't slept with the girl.  There was a good chance that he might have, even if he couldn't really place her face.  That, of course, only made it sound worse, didn't it?  Hell's bells, if he told Valerie that, she'd probably never speak to him ever again, too . . .

"If that child is yours . . . If he is . . . don't you dare . . . Don't you dare turn your back on him.  It's not his fault.  He . . . He's just a kid . . ."

No doubt about it, he was screwed, any way he looked at it.  First things first, though.  The most important thing was to get himself back into Valerie's good graces.  If he could manage that one, he'd figure out what to do about the rest of it . . .

~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~= ~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
'Torn' first appeared on Natalie Imbruglia's 1997 release, Left of the Middle.  Song written by and copyrighted to Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, and Phil Thornalley.
== == == == == == == == == ==
jack2jokester ------ inugurl338 ------ lilswtheart9711 (Err … why …?) ------ sutlesarcasm ------ nish04 ------ Nate Grey ------ theablackthorn ------ CoyoteKeyser ------ Dark Inu Fan
lianned88 ------ GoodyKags ------ cutechick18 ------ indigorrain ------ Mangaluva ------ amohip ------ reina q ------ sueroxmysox ------
Thought from Evan:
Aw, for fuck's sake!
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 147
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