InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Innocence ( Chapter 150 )

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


-Oo OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

'Some people say they will never believe
'Another promise they hear in the dark
'Because they remember only too well
'They heard somebody tell them before …'

-'An Innocent Man' by Billy Joel.


-Evan-


". . . Wow."

Evan heaved a sigh and grimaced as he leaned back in his chair.  "Yeah, that's kind of what I said, too."

"But it isn't true, no?"

"No," Evan replied.  "Unfortunately, I'm not too sure what to do about it.  I can't take a fucking blood test, right?"

Tipping the espresso to his lips, Gage Jordan made a face then leaned forward to slip the cup onto the table in the quiet little bistro before flicking an imaginary bit of lint off the cuff of his immaculate white sleeve and settling back in the booth with his arm stretched across the back rest.  "Hardly my area of expertise," he allowed in a somewhat philosophical tone, "but no, I would wager that would be a poor choice."

"Yeah, well, trust me.  I've already looked into that, and no, it can't be done," Evan muttered, twisting his coffee mug in an idle sort of way.

Gage nodded slowly, dragging a long-fingered hand through his jet black hair.  "What is that charming phrase you barbarians use?  Ah . . . Got your balls nailed to the wall, yes?"

Evan chuckled despite his bleak thoughts.  "Something like that, yeah."  He sighed.  "Speaking of nailed balls," he went on, arching an eyebrow, "what'd you do with Violca?"

Gage broke into a lazy little grin that made Evan shake his head since he had a decent idea that the native European was reliving something that he didn't really need—or for that matter, want—to hear.  "Ah, the lovely Violca, a girl of very many talents . . ."

Rolling his wrist to hurry Gage on, Evan chuckled.  "Yes, her."

"I did what I said I would do," he said simply.  "I tracked down her people, and I left her with them."


"Nice," Evan replied, nodding his head slowly.  "It was touch and go there for a while."

Gage chuckled and motioned at the waitress to bring another espresso.  "And how are things going with the lovely Ms. Denning?" he asked with a very amused glint in his eyes.  "Your attorney, correct?"

"Eh, well, it's going," Evan muttered.  "She's not too pleased with me at the moment."

"Ah, back to the child again, yes?"

Evan sighed since that wasn't actually the real problem, as far as he was concerned.  Close enough, though . . . "Something like that."

Gage shrugged, as though it was of no real consequence.  "And so you tell her that you are not the child's father."

That earned the Frenchman a droll look.  "You think I didn't do that already?"

"Merci," he said to the waitress when she delivered his drink.  Evan grinned just a little as he rolled his eyes when the poor girl nearly swooned at the lazy kind of look Gage gave her.  It wasn't the first time that Evan had witnessed Gage's near legendary charm in action, and he sincerely doubted it'd be the last, either.  After the waitress had hurried away, he turned his attention back to Evan once more and slowly shook his head.  "Your V does not believe you?"

Evan made a face.  "Doesn't matter if she does or not, considering I've told her that I can't take the test but can't really come up with a good reason not to."

Gage chuckled.  "She thinks you are a liar, no?"

"Sounds about right," Evan grudgingly allowed.

"In any case," he went on, "I have every faith that you, of all people, can figure it out."

"I'm trying," Evan admitted with a shrug.  "I'll talk to her later on.  Hopefully, she's not quite so ticked off at me."

Gage chuckled.  "It is a shame.  You should have invited her to join us.  Lovely woman, your V . . ."

Evan snorted.  "Forget it, Jordan.  I'm onto you."

His smile widened. "She is a very sensual woman," he went on, stroking his chin thoughtfully, his gaze taking on a rather hazy sort of appearance, as though he was remembering the time he'd met her while Evan was in LA on tour.  "Very erotic . . ."

"Yeah yeah, keep it in your pants, Romeo," Evan retorted dryly.  "You're never going to find out, just so you know."

Gage laughed softly, digging a Djarum Black clove cigarette out of the inner pocket of his jacket.  "I jest, I jest," he said.

Rolling his eyes, Evan broke into a grin.  "Then again, knock yourself out," he decided with a shrug.  "I give her two days to figure out that you're a pompous ass."

Gage's laughter escalated.  "She would undoubtedly see right through me, no?"

"Absolutely," Evan agree, lifting his coffee to his lips.  "So what are you doing here, anyway?  I mean, you did say that you weren't coming back to the city."

"I never said I wasn't coming back," he corrected.  "I said that I preferred the more relaxed climate of, say, southern California.  Anyway, I was invited to opening night for Ferrier's Way."

"The Broadway show?" Evan asked, arching an eyebrow in surprise.

He nodded.  "Mattieu Pointau is conducting the orchestra, so he invited me.  Said it was a . . . personal favor."

That was surprising.  Mattieu Pointau was well known for having antagonized Gage for years, ever since the night when Gage had fled the Paris Grande Arcanum theatre just before he was scheduled to perform in front of a packed house.  "I thought the old bastard hated your guts," Evan remarked.

Gage chuckled.  "He does," he allowed with a nonchalant shrug.

"Then why did he invite you to the opening?"

"I think he is still trying to convince me that I am missing out of something," he replied simply.  "So I thought, what better way to show my apathy than to go to this performance and have a great time?"

Evan shook his head but laughed.  "I suppose that'd work."

"You shall have to join me.  You, Madison, and your lovely Ms. Denning."

"Maddy?  Sure.  V?  Not so sure she'd be interested, but I'll ask her."

Gage inclined his head as he settled back with the fresh espresso in his hand.  "It should be fun, no?"

Evan chuckled.  "Of course."


-Valerie-


Valerie paced the length of the room and back again, her heels clicking on the floor, dulled here and there by the area rug near the sofa.

'Where is he . . .?'

Munchies heaved a sigh where he lay near the fireplace, his chin on his paws and an anxious look on his face.

She wasn't sure where Evan was, but she'd been there for nearly an hour already, and she supposed it was her own fault for not having bothered to call him first.  Still, she'd really thought that he'd be here, hadn't she?

She sighed.  Honestly, she wasn't sure what she wanted to say to him, but she had to try, didn't she?  She had to make him understand, both from a legal stand point as well as from one friend to another.  The thing was, she didn't know exactly how to do that when he didn't want to listen.  She could only hope that he'd thought about it a little last night, and maybe he was more inclined to hear her out.  Maybe . . .

The sound of the front door drew Valerie to an abrupt halt.  Pressing a hand against her stomach to contain the instant rise of nerves, she bit her lip and drew a deep breath, and pivoted on her heels to face the doorway.

"Hey, V," Evan said as he strode into the living room and tossed his brown leather jacket onto the nearest chair.  "I went by your office, but they said you left early."

"I wanted to talk to you about yesterday," she said, hoping that the reticence in her voice hadn't been as noticeable as she thought that it was.  "It was wrong of me to have just walked out."

Letting out a deep breath, he held out his hands in a placating kind of gesture.  "V, no, I, uh . . . I handled it badly," he said.  "It's just that . . . I know that you don't understand, but I'm telling you for certain: the pup isn't mine.  If there was a chance in hell that he was, I'd be the first to step forward and do the right thing, but there isn't.  Really."

"Okay," she agreed slowly, nodding as she considered his statement, "I believe you, then, but you have to know that you're still going to have to submit to the blood test.  There's no way that the judge isn't going to order it as par for course."

"I know, but . . ." He sighed, dragging a hand through his hair.  "I can't do a blood test.  I just really can't."

She shook her head and stifled the urge to sigh herself.  "If it was against your religion or something, then we might be able to fight it," she told him.  "If there was a good, legal reason why you couldn't, that'd be different, but there isn't . . . Is there"

"It's a long story," he mumbled, looking completely irritated but unwilling to give her a logical reason for his stubborn insistence.

"I've got time," she countered mildly.

That didn't seem to impress him, either.  "Like I said before, I don't even know if I did sleep with her," he pointed out.  "Hell, I don't know that I remember every single woman I've ever been with . . ."

Tamping down the flash of irritation that his bald statement had inspired, Valerie tapped her foot and reminded herself that she needed to keep her temper if she had any kind of hope to get him to agree to the necessary testing.  "Be that as it may, it doesn't change the fact that this girl is accusing you of fathering her child!"

Evan grunted.  "I realize that, V," he snapped though he sounded more exasperated than angry.

"Are you sure you're not scared of needles?" she repeated the question she'd asked yesterday.  "If you are, I'm sure that they can do it so that you won't even feel it, and—"

"It's not the needles, V!" he scoffed.  "I've shot up a few times in my life, you know.  You think I'd have done that if I was scared of fucking needles?"

Valerie rolled her eyes and sighed.  "That's not really scoring you any points, Roka," she pointed out calmly.

"Hi, everyone," Madison said as she sashayed into the room.

Valerie nodded curtly at her but didn't reply.  "Then why won't you take the test?  It's easy enough, right?  A few seconds, a little blood, and done!  It's simple!"

"It's not simple," he scoffed, ignoring Madison's arrival completely.  "I just don't wanna do it, and I don't give a shit if the damned judge throws me in jail for it!"

"Jail?  Why now?" Madison asked rather dryly.

Valerie rubbed her temples, sorely pressed to remind herself that she had no intention of arguing with the stubborn man.  "Well, if you don't, then it just makes you look guiltier, and if you think that you're going to come out of this smelling like a rose, you're wrong!  If you keep this up, you're going to have half of the world thinking that this little boy is yours, regardless of what any test says, and you'll look like an absolute ass for trying to avoid it, in the first place!"

"Who gives a great goddamn what the world thinks?" he shot back angrily.  "I sure as hell don't, and it doesn't matter, anyway, because the kid isn't mine!"

"Kid?" Madison echoed, blinking in surprise.  "Someone's claiming that he's the father of her child?"

"Yes," Valerie bit out with a sigh.  "Yes, she's saying that he's the father."

"Oh," Madison replied then fluttered a hand in blatant dismissal.  "He's not."

"Yeah!" Evan blurted, having finally noticed Madison's presence.  "See?  Thanks, Maddy."

"No problem," she said.

Valerie rolled her eyes.  "So, he's said," she interrupted before an all-out love-fest ensued.  "That doesn't matter when he refuses—flat out refuses—to get the blood test done to prove it!"

Madison glanced at Evan then smiled at Valerie very calmly.  "Oh, a blood test isn't necessary."

Evan slipped an arm around Madison's shoulders and gave her a quick squeeze.  "See?  See?  Even Maddy thinks it's not necessary!" he gloated, pointing at Madison with his free hand.

Rolling her eyes, Valerie tossed her hands up in the air in mock surrender.  "I just don't get either one of you," she grumbled.  "How on earth can you say that?  Of course he needs to take a blood test, just to prove that he's not the boy's father!"

Madison giggled.  "Oh, it's really not needed, V," she insisted.

"Right!" Evan fairly crowed.  "Maddikins rocks, did you know that?"

"Give me one good reason why you're agreeing with him!" Valerie insisted, waving a hand in Evan's general direction.

"You tell her, Maddy," Evan chimed in, puffing up his chest and looking entirely too smug for his own good.

"Well, that's easy," Madison said, blinking innocently at Valerie.

"It is?"

Madison nodded.  Evan nodded harder.

"Why is that?" Valerie asked.

Madison laughed again.  "Because he's sterile."

"Yeah!" Evan gloated.  "Because I'm—What?"

Valerie snapped her mouth closed and couldn't help the shocked expression on her face as she turned to stare at Evan once more.

He stepped away from Madison, looking almost as stunned as Valerie was.  "I'm what?" he growled.  "The hell I'm sterile!  I'm so not sterile that I could knock up half of Manhattan right fucking now if I wanted to!"

Madison pasted on a tolerant little smile despite the heightened twinkle in her gaze, and she raised an eyebrow at Evan before glancing from him to Valerie and back again.

"Keh!  No!  Fuck no!" he insisted, stomping across the room and back.  "I'm not st—!"

Madison cleared her throat and jerked her head toward Valerie, tapping her lips with a beautifully manicured index finger.

Evan stopped mid-tirade and shot Valerie a scathing glower before glaring at Madison once more as he uttered a low, irritated growl.  "Okay, fine," he gritted out, cheeks pinking almost painfully as he shifted his eyes to the floor and refused to meet anyone's gaze.  "I'm . . . fucking . . . sterile."

Madison uttered a sound that was suspiciously close to a choked wheeze, but Valerie didn't really notice it.  In an instant, everything Evan had said fell into place in her mind, and she breathed out a small, "O-O-Oh . . ." as she watched the man in question.

"That's right," Madison went on smoothly.  "He's sterile—shooting blanks—got no backup singers—the river's run dry—Elvis has left the—"

"Thanks, Maddy," Evan growled.  "I think she gets the idea."

Madison smiled brightly.  "Any time, sweetie!"

"Oh, my God," Valerie said gently, taking an involuntary step toward Evan.  "I'm so sorry . . . I-I didn't know . . ."

He blinked and scowled at her for several moments then uttered a loud grunt and stomped off toward his music room, muttering under his breath about demented women.


-Evan-


'Sterile!' he fumed, stomping around the room like a caged animal.  'I'll show them fucking sterile!  Sterile, my ass!  That damned Maddy!  How the hell did she come up with that bullshit . . .?'

The door creaked open, and the woman in question peeked into the room.  "Hiding, are you?"

He snorted loudly.  "What do you want, Judas?" he grumbled, throwing himself down on the couch and glowering petulantly at his best friend.

She giggled and slipped into the room.  "Oh, don't be mad," she told him, sitting down beside him and leaning against his shoulder.  He shrugged to dislodge her head.  It didn't work, which just figured.

"Go away," he told her brusquely, "before you announce that I'm a fucking eunuch, too."

She giggled some more, much to his chagrin.  "Well, it's not like you could take a blood test to prove you're not the kid's father, right?  You should be thanking me, not castigating me . . ." Her giggles escalated.  "That sounds almost like 'castrating' doesn't it?  Get it?"

"Again," Evan grouched, shrugging his shoulder a little harder, "you're not funny in the least."

She managed to wind down to little bits of choked laughter that did nothing to endear her to Evan in the least.  "You could've thought of another way to 'help' me," he pointed out.  "But no, instead you had to make me into some pathetic half-man or something."

She tried to control her amusement.  He had to give her that at least.  Pressing her lips together in a very thin line, her cheeks puffing out once, twice as her nostrils flared, she choked back a bark of laughter.  "Just because you're sterile—"

"Which I'm not," he ground out.

"—Doesn't make you a half-man—"

"Except it does."

"—And if I were you—"

"Keh!  Good thing you're not!"

"—I would use this to my advantage."

That earned her a very menacing scowl.  "And just what's advantageous about any of this bullshit?" he demanded.

She shrugged offhandedly.  "Well, for starters, V's feeling pretty sorry for you.  I'm sure that there's some way you can use that."

He snorted.  "You know, ordinarily, I might agree with you, but considering all I want to do right now is wring your neck?  I'll pass, thanks."

She leaned up and kissed his cheek loudly.  Evan snorted, using his forearm to push her away as he wiped his cheek on his shoulder.  "Get away from me, damn it," he grumbled.

Madison rolled her eyes and resumed her place against his side once more.  "Sorry, sweetie.  It had to be done."

"Not that way, it didn't," he griped.

Madison giggled and reached up to wipe a bit of lipstick off his face.  "You should be thanking me," she pointed out again.  "V's on the phone as we speak, telling the DA about your condition, so—Oh, now what?" she asked when he started to groan out loud.

"She's telling the fucking DA?" he demanded, looking even more incredulous by the second—and seeing his life pass before his eyes at the speed of light . . .

Madison nodded, still looking entirely too pleased with herself for his liking.  "Of course she is!  Why beat around the bush with it, anyway?  It proves that you cannot possibly be the child's father, doesn't it?"

Evan grunted and stood up, heading for the door to stop a certain attorney.

"Where are you going?" Madison asked.

"Keh!" he snorted, yanking open the door again.  "I'm going to go tell her that the kid's mine," he tossed back over his shoulder.

"Are you nuts?" Madison asked, quickly getting to her feet to hurry after him.

"Better than being labeled as sterile!"

"Good news," Valerie said as she grabbed Evan's arm.  "The DA said he'll consider dropping the charges, providing that you can produce a medical report that supports your inability to father children."

Evan blinked and glowered at her.  The excitement that had illuminated her features dulled as a wince surfaced, and she sighed.  "I'm really sorry to hear about your . . . your condition," she said in an overly compassionate tone as she reached out to pat his hand.  "I know how much you love children, and—"

His snort cut her off abruptly.  "Can we drop this, V?" he asked pointedly.

She bit her lip and nodded but didn't let go of his hand.  "Evan?"

Gritting his teeth at the sight of the overwhelming pity on her features, he sighed.  "What?"

"If you . . . If you need someone to talk to . . ."

Rolling his eyes, he yanked his hand away and brushed past Valerie, heading for the foyer.

"Where are you going?  Evan?" she called after him.

"Out," he grouched.

"But—"

"Let Maddy keep you company.  Maybe the two of you can figure out a good way to restore my manhood," he replied, grasping the handle of the front door and giving it a good yank that did nothing at all to assuage his overall irritation.  Stomping outside, ignoring the falling snow, Evan snorted loudly and stalked down the path toward the driveway.   'Women!' he thought with a very terse grunt.

In his head, he could hear his youkai-voice laughing like a moron.


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A/N:
'An Innocent Man' first appeared on Billy Joel's 1983 release, An Innocent Man.  Song written by and copyrighted to Billy Joel.
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Final
Thought from Valerie:
Well, that explains it ...
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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~


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