InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Pain and Suffering ( Chapter 151 )

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

'I don't want anybody else
'When I think about you
'I touch myself…'

-'I Touch Myself' by the Divinyls.


"Are you about done in there?"

Evan snorted.  "No."

Rolling her eyes, Valerie slowly shook her head.  "But you've been in there, what?  Twenty minutes?  Half an hour?"

He snorted again.  "These things take time, woman."

"With you?" she countered dryly.  "I don't think so."

"Dunno why you insisted on coming along with me," he complained.  "I could've done this on my own, you know."

Crossing her arms over her chest, Valerie rolled her eyes—not that he could see her.  "Because," she said calmly—maybe too calmly—"you balked when I told you that you had to do it.  Knowing you, you'd have paid some bum to do it for you or something."  Turning around, she leaned against the closed door and checked her watch.  "It's nothing to be ashamed of.  Lots of men all over the world are sterile—"

"Would you stop saying that so loudly?" he grouched in a sharp hiss.  "Jesus!  What if someone hears you?"

She sighed and bit her lip.  She really wasn't trying to upset him more, but she couldn't help but to feel badly for him.  How many times had she seen him go out of his way for children, whether it was stopping by to visit at a local hospital or teaching underprivileged children how to play music at a run-down YMCA?  He loved kids; she knew he did.  It had to hurt to know that he just wouldn't be able to have any of his own . . .

And even then, she could appreciate his reluctance to submit to this test, too.  Though he'd given Valerie a written affidavit issued by Evan's doctor in Maine—his cousin, Isabelle—the DA maintained that it wasn't good enough; he wanted an actual fertility test done on Evan before he'd drop the charges for failure to provide child support, which was why they were here.

"Are you done yet?" she asked again.

"How about I let you know when I'm through?" he muttered.

"Oh, come on," she replied.  "You're a pro at this, aren't you?  Are you seriously going to tell me that you can't do it now?"

He snorted.  "Listen, woman, it's not like I'm doing this for recreational purposes," he snapped back.  "Don't pressure me, dammit!  You're making it ride back up."

"Ride back up?  What does that mean?  It's not like you're in there peeing.  You're supposed to be masterb—"

"Shhhh!" he hissed.

She stifled a sigh.  "Don't they keep some kind of visual aid in there or something?"

"Of course there are," he grumbled.  "Read that one . . . Read that one . . . that one . . . that one . . . that one . . . Oh!  Here's one I haven't seen yet . . . Hey, V, the girl on the cover kind of looks like you."

The sigh she'd stifled slipped out as she slowly shook her head.  "You'd better not!" she warned.

"Better not what?"

"Don't you dare use me as your visual aid, Roka."

He chuckled.  "Be easier, don't you think?  All you gotta do is show me your titties, and I'll be done in . . . a minute?  Less?"

"Ugh, you're such a pig," she retorted though her tone lacked any real rancor.  "Just fill your cup, and let's get moving, okay?"

"Oh, hello, V-wannabe . . . Lookin' at me, all hot n' sexy . . ."

"I'm not your visual aid, damn it!" she hissed through the door.

"Well, look at that . . . Very pretty boobies . . . 'Course, hers look a little fake . . ."

"There is nothing fake about me, Roka," she snapped.

He groaned.  "Oh, don't I know it . . .?"

She snorted.  "Just get moving, will you?"

"I can't believe it's come to this," Evan bemoaned melodramatically.

"So did you have an accident or something?  Were you running around with a pencil in your pocket, maybe?" Valerie asked, completely ignoring Evan's whining.

"No," he grumbled.  "You know, you're not nearly as funny as you think you are."

"I'm not trying to be funny," she replied calmly.  "I just thought that if it was the result of some sort of accident or something, maybe there is a medical way to reverse it."

"Can we not talk about that?" he complained.  "And just so you know, I'm holding you responsible for being forced to do this."

She made a face as she tapped her finger against her lips and considered the things she'd read during her online search for information pertaining to male infertility.  Pointing out that less that less than five percent of men in the USA were truly infertile was probably not the best row to hoe, so she'd kept that little gem to herself.  "But you know, there have been a lot of medical advances in the area of infertility," she pointed out, "so maybe if you went to a specialist about it, there might be some kind of treatment to help you."

Evan didn't respond right away, and Valerie gave an involuntary little yelp when the door abruptly opened just enough so that Evan could glower through the crack at her.  "Why don't you go on back to your office?  I really don't think you're doing me any good here—unless you're going to flash those boobies at me, that is . . ."

She sighed and rolled her eyes at the unabashed hopefulness in his expression.  "It's just that I looked it up last night, and there were all kinds of articles about the latest treatments, and depending on what caused you to be infertile, they might really be able to help you."

He snorted.  "You're not winning any points with me, woman."

Letting out a deep breath, Valerie slowly shook her head.  "Are you sure you wouldn't feel better if you talked about it?" she asked gently.

"No, it wouldn't," he snapped.  "Besides, you're not my therapist, now are you?"

"I don't have to be a therapist to know that talking about something might help you deal with it, and—" Cutting herself off abruptly when the part of his arm that she could see started to move in a highly suspect way, she narrowed her eyes.  "Don't do that with the door open!" she growled, moving to stand in front of the crack while peering over her shoulder at the rest of the empty examination room.

"Why?  No one else in here," he said.  "Ooh . . . oo-oo-oo-ooh . . ."

"Stop that!" she hissed, unable to staunch the flow of blood that exploded in her cheeks.

"Oh, that's it, baby!  Wrap those lips of yours around my co—"


"V!  Oh, V . . ."

"Get in there!" she grouched, smashing her hand in the middle of his face and shoving him a step back.  "And stop defiling me in your twisted little brain!"

He sighed and rolled his eyes but chuckled as he shut the door again.  A moment later, he started making the most obnoxious noises, ever, and Valerie smiled despite her concern.  "It sounds like you're hurting yourself," she called through the door, completely unimpressed by the horrendous sound of slapping skin that wasn't quite drowned out by the man's show of grunting.

His response was to moan and groan even louder.

She wasn't entirely sure that he'd actually managed to accomplish his task without maiming himself, and she sighed since it wouldn't do any good to try to talk to him at the moment as she shuffled over to the plain wooden chair to wait.


"Did it work?"

Gage blinked and eyed Evan lazily as he leaned back in his chair.  "Did what work?"

Evan chuckled.  "Did Mattieu's plan to make you realize just what you were missing work?"

Gage laughed softly, intimately.  As far as Evan knew, Gage Jordan was one of the few men who could really get away with flirting with anyone—woman or man—in such an offhanded way that it never seemed contrived in the least.  "Sadly, it did not.  I did, however, find the presentation to be very well done and highly enjoyable."

"Overall," Evan agreed with a thoughtful nod.  "A couple of the songs were a little flat."

"Only so flat that you would notice.  I sincerely doubt that anyone else did," Gage remarked as he reached for his glass of red wine.  "You've always had a better ear for pitch than . . . well, anyone I've ever met."

"Except for you," Evan added.

Gage shook his head.  "No, your ear is far more acute than mine, too."

"Hmm, sounds like an interesting conversation," Madison drawled.  Evan stood up as she and Valerie slipped back into their seats at the table.  Gage was a little slower to follow suite.  Valerie looked a little surprised by Evan's show of manners, and that made him grin.  Considering Cain was fairly old school, he had taught Evan manners when it came to women early on, and besides, it was always amusing whenever Valerie showed that hint of surprise when those manners reared their ugly heads . . .

"Sorry, Maddikins," Evan teased as he sat back down again.  "Top secret information that isn't fit for the delectation of a lady's tender sensibilities."

Madison wrinkled her nose.  "Well, if that isn't a load of something, then I don't know what is," she scoffed.  "Did you gentlemen order already?"

"Of course," Gage replied with a lazy grin.

Evan could feel Valerie's probing gaze on him again, and he refrained from giving in to the urge to sigh.    It wasn't the first time during the course of the evening that he'd caught her watching him, and it wouldn't be the last, he was sure—just as he was sure that if he did glance at her, he'd see that expression of overwhelming pity on her features, too.  'Damn it.'

It really was just a little too much, wasn't it?  Bad enough that Madison had decided that it was the simplest way to explain why he couldn't possibly be the father of the boy in question, and Valerie had somehow decided that it 'explained everything', but worst of all was the over the top pity that Valerie was hell-bent on displaying.

'Admit it.  The real thing that's bugging the hell out of you was that you had to explain it to Isabelle, right?  And the idea that she laughed about the whole thing for a good half an hour before she calmed down enough to generously offer to write the statement verifying your infertility.'

'Shut up,' he growled, wondering absently why his youkai-voice sounded so damned amused, as well.  'Need I remind you that if I'm supposedly sterile, then so are you?'

'You might be,' his youkai shot back, 'but I'm not.'

Evan snorted inwardly and reached for his glass of wine.  'That's retarded, you know.'

'Nah, it's true.  Without me, you'd just be rock without the roll.  If you didn't have me to fall back on, you really would be sterile.'

He sighed, tipping the glass to his lips.  Between his youkai-voice and the damned DA, he figured that they all had it out for him.  After all, why else would his personal physician's sworn affidavit not be good enough?  Oh, no-o-o-o.  He had to submit to a fertility test at Parker-Watkins Foundation's clinic, too.  Hell, he'd half hoped that Isabelle would tell him that he had to avoid that, no matter what, too, but she hadn't.  In fact, she said that because he was youkai—or close enough, anyway—that it was 'perfectly safe' since all they'd be looking for was the presence of viable sperm in his semen, which, he had also been assured, would not be possible—unless or until he wanted them to be, that was . . .

It was too much, wasn't it?  The injustice—the indignity—of it all.  He'd willingly and knowingly humiliated himself by slinking into the clinic through a back door, just to be handed a plastic specimen cup and escorted to the 'collection rooms' to do his thing while the twenty-something nurse had smiled a rather knowingly and quite obviously recognizing his Zel Roka facade as she told him to turn in the cup along with the forms he'd been given after he'd done the dirty deed . . .

'I should have just told V that the pup was mine and paid whatever child support the court deemed necessary,' he grumbled.

"Evan?  Are you all right?"

Evan started slightly and glanced at Valerie, stifling another sigh when he saw the obvious concern in her expression.  "Fine, V," he replied, forcing a smile that he was far from feeling, given the direction of his current thoughts.

She winced a little—apparently, his little ruse wasn't working on her—and bit her lip.  "If you want to go home, I can understand," she said, leaning toward him so that the others wouldn't hear her—or at least, they wouldn't have if they weren't youkai . . .

Gage grinned.  "Ah, so did you find a suitable solution to your problem, Evan?" he asked, arching an eyebrow as that grin of his widened.

"Something like that," Evan grumbled, hoping that his answer was enough to put the Frenchman off for a while.

"Oh?" Gage said, looking way too surprised for Evan's liking.  "And?"

Madison smiled brightly and shot Evan a saucy wink.  "He told her the truth, of course," she replied when it became evident that Evan wasn't going to speak up.

"Is that so?" Gage countered, his surprise growing by the second.  "The truth?"

Rubbing his forehead, Evan wondered vaguely if they'd notice if he got up and left the table for a minute.  Then he sighed.

"Oh, Evan, did you order a salad for me?" Valerie suddenly asked, her voice slightly higher than usual, her smile a little brighter than it should have been.

Evan opened his mouth to respond.  Madison was faster.  "Of course," she went on with an airy flutter of her hand.  "He had to tell her, didn't he?  After all, it's really not a secret . . ."

"But that doesn't really solve his problem, does it?" Gage asked, turning his attention to Madison.

She laughed softly.  "Of course it does!  After all, considering he's sterile, it's not like he could ever have fathered her or anyone's child, right?"

Gage choked and shot Evan a startled glance that quickly shifted into one of the utmost amusement—which just figured.  "That is true," he concluded with a chuckle.  "How could I possibly have forgotten about that?"

"Which reminds me," Madison went on, her eyes twinkling with sorely misplaced amusement, as far as Evan was concerned, "how did the test go?"

"Test?" Gage echoed, looking like he believed that whatever 'test' Madison was bound to be of sovereign interest.

"Maddy," Valerie murmured in what could only be described as a warning tone.

Madison ignored her.  "Evan had to go in and have his semen tested," she pointed out in a very loud aside to Gage.  "He had to masturbate into a cup."

Evan heaved a sigh and slowly shook his head.  What was that old saying?  What comes around goes around?  Well, he supposed that he probably deserved the ribbing on some level.  After all, he had to admit that he'd done a number of things that Madison might want revenge for in the past.  Still, that didn't really make it any easier to swallow, either.  "Okay, okay," he grumbled, rolling his eyes as he kept his tone neutral.  "Let's talk about something else, shall we?"

"That seems a little drastic, don't you think?" Gage asked, completely ignoring Evan's request to change the subject.  "There are certain things in this world that should never be saved for later," he went on with a chuckle, "and that's one of them."

"They weren't saving it for anything," Evan replied.  "They're just getting a count of my—You know what?  I really don't wanna talk about this anymore," he grouched.

"So how did your meeting with the realtor go?" Valerie suddenly asked, turning her attention to Madison once more.

"It seems a little strange, no?" Gage asked, still entirely too amused by the turn of events.  "The biggest rock star on the planet, and you cannot even do the one thing that makes a man . . . a man?"

"Ha ha ha, very funny," Evan grumbled, giving up on all pretenses to be enduring the teasing as he crossed his arms over his chest and scowled at Madison and Gage, both of whom were quite obviously enjoying the entire situation just a little too much.

"What's the point of having sex at all if you're only half a man?" Gage continued.

Evan snorted but didn't deign to remark on that bit of nonsense.

"Did anyone at the clinic recognize you?" Madison chimed in.  "Can't you just see the headlines now?  'Rock Legend Zel Roka Caught Entering Fertility Clinic'!"

"Okay, that's enough," Valerie growled from between clenched teeth as she set her wine glass down with a very heavy thump.  "You both should realize that this is a very sensitive subject for him, and how in the world you can sit there and make light of it is entirely beyond me!  You should be ashamed of yourselves!  He loves children—adores them!  Of course he wants to have them someday, but he can't, and the two of you are just making the entire thing worse!  And just so you know, being sterile doesn't make him a half-man by any stretch of the imagination!"

Heaving a sigh, Evan let his face drop into his hand as he slowly shook his head.  As she'd spoken, her voice had grown louder, so by the time she she finished, she was quite loud, which wouldn't have been such a huge deal except for two things.  Firstly, the restaurant was a fairly nice establishment, so it didn't take much to gain everyone's attention—even the service staff who were leaning out of the kitchen with varying degrees of shocked expressions on their faces.  Secondly?  Well, she was waving her hand in his general direction, so even if there was a question as to who, exactly, she was referring, all anyone had to do was watch her to know pretty damn quickly.

"V . . ." he said, hoping to stop her before she could really get wound up.

She was having none of it.  "I'd even go so far as to say that I think he's two—no, ten—times the man you are, especially when you sit there and make fun of him when it's not his fault!  You make it sound like there's something wrong with being sterile, and there isn't!  At least he knows what's important, and if that's the way you treat your 'friends', then I'd say you're not much of one, now are you?"

"Valerie," Evan said, grasping her wrist with his free hand and giving her a little tug.  "Thanks."

She blinked but finally glanced at him.  "What for?" she asked, shaking her head in obvious confusion.

He sighed.  "I appreciate that you feel so strongly about all this," he managed to say while avoiding shifting his gaze around the deadly silent restaurant, "but would you mind keeping it down before everyone outside hears you, too?"

She still looked confused for about two seconds.  Then she must've realized just what he was talking about, because she gasped softly and shot him an apologetic glance before leaning over the table and lowering her voice to an angry hiss.  "You two should be ashamed of yourselves," she insisted.  "He'd never make fun of either one of you if you were in his shoes."

"Okay, Tiger," Evan said, standing up and pulling Valerie to her feet.  "You've made your point.  Let's go."

"I'm not done," she insisted, tugging her arm away from him and gesturing at Gage and Madison—both of whom looked even more amused by Valerie's outburst than they had been before.

Evan rolled his eyes.  "Fine," he told her, shaking his head in defeat.  "Then you can stay and finish telling them off, but I'm going home."

He wasn't sure how he managed to get out of the restaurant with his head held high, and he didn't need to look around to know that everyone in the damn place was still staring at him.  Heaving a sigh as he stepped out onto the street, he snorted.  'Talk about humiliating . . .'

His youkai-voice laughed.  'Yeah, you'd better correct V, don't you think?'

'Correct her?  About what?'

The voice snorted.  'About her assumption that you wouldn't tease the hell out of Gage or Maddy if they were in your shoes.  You would.  You absolutely would.'

"Evan!  Wait . . ."

He stopped mid-stride and swung around in time to see Valerie hurrying down the sidewalk toward him.  She sighed and looked irritated.  "I'm sorry," she said when she finally caught up to him.  "I wasn't trying to embarrass you.  It's just . . ." Waving a hand as though she were trying to grasp the words she wanted to say, she heaved another sigh and slowly shook her head.  "It's just—I can't believe how mean they were both being, and it . . . It made me mad . . ."

He stared at her for several moments.  Face illuminated by the artificial lights of the city street, the upset in her eyes was telling, wasn't it?  He smiled ruefully and started to walk again, stuffing his hands deep into his pockets.  "It's okay, V," he told her.

"No, it's not," she insisted as she fell into step beside him.  "Teasing you about something silly is fine, but . . . but not about something so important . . ."

"Nah," he assured her, turning the corner as they headed toward the parking garage where he'd left his car.  "Besides, you were wrong, you know."

She blinked and shook her head.  "I was?"

"Yeah," he stated, his grin widening by degrees.  "If Gage were me?  I'd have given him ten kinds of hell, too."

Letting out a deep breath, Valerie snorted.  "You would, wouldn't you?" she muttered in a somewhat disgusted tone.

He chuckled as he handed the parking attendant his ticket and leaned against the wall to wait.  "Yeah," he agreed with an offhanded shrug.  "I really would have."

She heaved a sigh then uttered a curt laugh.  "Such a jerk," she remarked, the warmth in her tone completely at odds with the sternness in her stance.


"I can't believe you talked me into this."

Leaning back in the hot tub, Evan tipped the bottle of beer to his lips.  "What?  It's warm enough in here," he said.

Valerie set her glass of wine on the edge and sank down a little lower in the steaming water.  Okay, so she'd give him that. It really was warm.  The hot tub was built under an overhang near the pool, but the sliding glass doors that opened it up in the summertime also went a long way in keeping the area warm enough to use in the winter, too.  Funny thing, really.  She couldn't say that she'd ever noticed the receding wall before—or maybe she hadn't bothered to look.  In any case, when he'd suggested a good, long soak, she'd thought he had lost his mind, at least until he'd pointed out that the room was enclosed, anyway . . .

"I guess so," she agreed, breaking into a small smile as she adjusted the thin strap of the bikini that she'd picked out from the stocked bureau in the cabana room.  The smile faded quickly, though, and she sighed.  The preoccupation in his gaze was telling, and while she knew that he really didn't want to make a big deal out of his situation, she couldn't just let it go, could she?  "About the other day," she said slowly, softly.  "I really shouldn't have jumped to conclusions when you wouldn't give me a reason why you didn't want to do the test . . . about why you were so sure that the boy wasn't yours . . ."

"Don't worry about it, V," he told her, the expression on his face stating quite plainly that he just didn't want to dwell on it.

"No, Evan.  I should have known that there was more to it—something you weren't telling me.  I mean, I know how much you love children . . . Have you ever thought about adopting?"

Evan blinked and looked rather surprised by her suggestion.  "Adopting?" he echoed with a shake of his head.

She nodded.  "Do you have any idea how many kids are out there, wishing for a good home?  Just waiting for someone to . . ." she trailed off for a moment and swallowed hard, quickly shifting her gaze to the side, hoping that he didn't read too much into her words, ". . . to love them . . ."

"Yeah," he allowed quietly.  "There are, aren't there?"

She sighed, leaning forward, drawing her legs up under the water as she wrapped her arms around her calves, staring without seeing as the jets under the surface made the water roil and bubble.  "Why is it so easy?" she asked, more to herself than to him.

"Why is what so easy?"

She shrugged, casting him a quick glance.  Brows drawn together, he was staring at her in a thoughtful kind of way, as though he were trying to see just what was going on in her mind.  "I don't know," she said, forcing a tight little laugh.  "I was just thinking out loud, I guess."

"No, tell me," he prompted gently.

"It's just . . . something I've never understood," she explained, rubbing her forehead and offering him a weakened smile.

"What's that?"

She shrugged again, as though she were trying to brush it all off.  "It doesn't make sense, does it?  The people who don't have the sense that God gave a billy goat crank the kids out right and left, and they don't know or care about the ones they have, but the people who would make the best parents are the ones who have to fight for it . . ."

He considered that for a long moment, his own smile, tight, drawn . . . "Is that what you think?"

"You don't?" she challenged mildly.

"I don't know about that," he replied.  "I mean, it's true that some people don't know how to care for their pups, but most of them do."

"Maybe," she said.  Then she sighed.  "Tell me something?"


Biting her lip, she tried to affect a nonchalant air, but she had a feeling that it wasn't quite working when Evan stood up and waded across the hot tub to sit beside her.  "Why did you tell me about my . . . my father?"

He let out a deep breath, but he didn't seem at all surprised by her question.  "You deserved to know," he told her softly.  "What you do with it is entirely up to you."

She nodded.  "I shouldn't care, should I?" she asked, her tone sad, more conversational than it was questioning.  "I mean, if you think about it, there's no reason at all why I should.  It's not like they were ever good parents, right?  And even if I try to tell myself things like, 'they were young,' and, 'they didn't know any better,' it just feels like I'm making excuses for them, and I shouldn't have to do that, should I?  I shouldn't have to justify anything to anyone, especially to myself . . ."

"No, you shouldn't," Evan said, pulling her against him, letting her rest her head against his chest.  There was nothing at all sexual about it.  No, it was more of a feeling of comfort that he provided her, and the infinite gentleness in his gesture brought a stinging tingle to her eyes, to her nose.

"I don't know why," she said in an almost apologetic tone of voice.  "I just kept looking at the picture of the boy, you know?  And I kept thinking, what's he going to learn from all of this?  Is his mother trying to play some sort of game?  Trying to accuse you of fathering her child so that she can milk you for money?  Does she honestly think that you are his father?  Or . . . or does she just not have any real idea?  And as much as I'd like to think that maybe she's just confused or something, I can't help this . . . this part of me that thinks that it's all just an act, that she's using her little boy, and it makes me so angry.  I mean, maybe she doesn't neglect him, per se, but isn't that kind of the same?"  She sighed.  "That boy is going to have questions one day, and what is she going to tell him?  That he was some kind of afterthought?  That she was out having a good time and he came from that?  Then I think . . . I think about how unfair that really is . . ."

Evan sighed and kissed the top of her head.  "Do you have any idea just how pissed off I get at your parents when you talk like this, V?" he asked quietly, honestly.

She sat up and frowned at him, shaking her head slowly as she met his gaze.  "When they first took me away, I thought about it a lot.  I heard my foster parents talking when they thought I wasn't listening, you know?  They'd call me, 'that poor thing,' or say stuff when I got caught doing things that they didn't understand like, 'well, what can you expect?  She's never had a real home,' but . . . but I did have a home," she whispered, her gaze falling away, as though she couldn't quite bring herself to look him in the eye.  "Maybe it wasn't a great one."  She winced.  "Maybe it wasn't even a good one, but I had one . . . Back then, I had a good memory for every bad memory, too.  My father—Daddy—whipped me with his belt, but the same night, he would play songs on his guitar until I fell asleep beside him.  He cut all my hair off, but later on, he tore a strip off a pink sheet to tie around my head like a ribbon . . ." Trailing off, she shrugged again, hating the pathetic feeling that hung over her, the helpless feeling that she'd never quite forgotten.  "As I got older, the bad memories started to outweigh the good ones.  Maybe I started to believe all the things that everyone said about them . . ."

Evan tried to smile.  It looked more like a grimace.  "No one has the right to tell you how you should feel, V," he told her.

She wished that she believed him, and she sighed.  "You . . . you think I should go there, don't you?  You think I should . . . should confront them or something . . . What . . . What would you do?  If you were me, what would you do?"

He stared at her for several long moments, his clear blue eyes so dark, so serious—so pained.  "I can't tell you that, V.  No, that's not right," he interrupted himself with a stubborn shake of his head.  "I won't tell you that," he amended.  "None of this is about me; it's about you, and what I would do isn't necessarily what you should."  Leaning forward, he seemed to be reaching for words, and he winced, then he drew a deep breath and shifted his gaze to meet hers once more.  "Only you can decide what's best for you, and it doesn't matter if I agree or not.  You're the one they hurt over and over again.  Only you can decide what you need to do."

She frowned and shook her head as a strange sense of near panic welled up inside her.  She wanted him to tell her, didn't she?  Wanted Evan to make the choice that she couldn't make for herself . . . "But—"

"I can't make your decision for you," he said gently, and to his credit, he looked infinitely sad.  "No matter what you choose, though, I got your back."

Her frown deepened, and she slowly shook her head.  The expression on his face . . . the gentleness in his eyes . . . the little smile that he offered to encourage her . . . He had more faith in her than she had in herself, didn't he?

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'I Touch Myself' first appeared on the Divinyls' 1990 release, Divinyls.  Song written by and copyrighted to Christina Amphlett, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, and Mark McEntee.
== == == == == == == == == ==
sustlesarcasm ------ badgirl093 ------ theablackthorn ------ kynkii ------ Tueske ------ smallflower (Evan doesn't have a human night, and if he did, he'd have sperm on that night.) ------ renomaru ------ Dark Inu Fan ------ lilswtheart9811
Shiratsuki ------ indigorrain ------ cutechick18 ------ GoodyKags ------ Mangaluva ------ BlkbltVette ------ sydniepaige ------ amohip ------ MouF ------ Proforce ------ CarmMelDoll
Thought from Gage:
I guess that would be one way to deal with it ...
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 150
Chapter 152
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