Sunday, June 7, 2020

Update hell

The site’s back up. It’s been a pain. First, Godaddy decided that, for the first time ever, I had to authenticate my account before I could log in to pay for the domain name that I’ve had for … well, for a very long time. First, I had to make them understand that the phone number associated with the account was a landline, so they couldn’t “text me the code”. Then, I’d forgotten that I’d deactivated the email I used for that account, and could I give the card number that they had on file? Well, considering that bank got sold to another bank that was nothing but a huge disaster a year ago? Not freaking likely … The final solution was to call my ISP and reactivate that email account. Let’s just say that it was … drama.

In the meantime, I’d bought, thinking I could just switch things over, no muss, no fuss.

I was very, very wrong. -_-

So, I had to reinstall wordpress, and I THINK I lost a few posts in the doing. I hope that it’s all working again, but who knows? It should, in theory, work. Bah!

Anyway, I’ve been told by some people I should keep the donate link up because this is my full time job. So, here it is. Oh, and feel free to join us on facebook, too!



posted by Sueric at 12:32 am  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Almost there …


Okay, guys, here’s the latest.  Between paying the car deductible to have it fixed and the house crap, we’re $300.00 short, which basically was because a girl said she could help us with that but then her car died so she needed it to fix her own car, and I get that completely.  Eric’s hours have been cut to straight time, which means that his checks for 40 hours a week is around 800 (if that) for 2 weeks, which is why our budget is shot.  So, if anyone can donate, even 25 bucks toward this last stretch?  We’d appreciate it so much.  It doesn’t sound like much, you know?  And yet, we have to have the full amount or nothing at all, and we’re out of the house.  So please, if you can … We’ve stretched as far as we can, we’ve borrowed as much as we can afford to pay back.  This really is it, and I hate to ask because you’ve all done so much for us, but it’s just that last bit we don’t have …

posted by Sueric at 4:21 pm  

Friday, July 20, 2018

It’s been a few days since the latest bit of stupid, so I feel calm enough to talk about it now. My neighbor who lives behind us (coincidentally, she and her husband like us; her mother uses to own our house, way back when) was telling me that she was talking to this other couple who kept driving around and finally stopped (she was working in their yard) to ask her which house was (ours) since “it was going up for auction” and she heard it was “an absolute steal!” from “her good friend, Marilyn”. No, no joke. I’m SERIOUS. Apparently, Marilyn knew the condition of this house when we bought it so she’d realized that it needed new everything downstairs (furnace, water heater, etc), so she knew that the house was “good to go”… I just … Really? I mean, really, really? How am I even supposed to FEEL about this? We’re fighting to keep our house, and she … No, she’s not in the least, interested in allowing us to get caught up or anything. Why would she be if she wants one of her buddies to live here? I’m just so MAD…


Thanks, you guys, we’re a lot closer to the goal, but we’d still welcome any help that anyone can afford. It looks like they’re cutting Eric’s OT hours already, so we’re already scraping, as it is. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still a long way off, so help is still greatly appreciated. You’ve all humbled me and made me realize that there really is still good around, and for that—for keeping me from going crazy—I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

posted by Sueric at 4:50 pm  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Help …


I’m posting again. I know, I’ve posted about this ad naseam, but as near as I can figure, we still have to come up with about 1500 to save the house, and we can come up with some of that, yes, but the rumor around Eric’s work is that, starting in August, hours are to be cut, and that will kill us: like KILL us, dead. Sure, we could let the car go back, and that would help, but we only HAVE one car, and, well, no car, no job. No job? We’re done.

I’ve been sitting here, trying to think and think and think, and there’s just really nothing–literally nothing. This whole thing has invated every aspect of my life. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t write, I can’t function. I spend every waking second, wondering if there’s anything I’ve missed. We’ve applied for loans and been denied (because they base it off of Eric’s STRAIGHT wages, even though his paystubs show overtime). We still have regular household bills to pay, too … I mean, we can’t just ignore the electricity or gas or anything like that. We’ve literally cut out every bit of extra spending, to the point where I feel GUILTY for spending more than 50 a week on groceries. For a family of four adults. I’d drop the cars to PLPD if that were an option for now. It’s not since our car and Alex’s car (that he pays for himself) are still financed.

Y’all, I’m done. Absolutely done. I have nothing. I have no pride anymore, no sense of what I should or should not be doing. I need to save our house. If we can’t afford to come up with this money, how on earth would we be able to pay rent? Not to mention my fur babies–the ones who cuddle me when I cry or when I’m lonely. I’ve been told that there’s an end to this tunnel, but I can’t see it. I’ve been told that we’ll save the house, but I don’t know how.

I’m asking. I’m begging. I’m literally left to this because it’s really all I have now. Please, please … Please, if you can, please help us.

If you can, our paypal address is or you can use the donation button above.

To those who have helped, I love and thank you all. You really have no idea just how thankful I am for you!

posted by Sueric at 5:58 pm  

Saturday, July 7, 2018



Hey, guys… just checking in.  As near as we can figure, we can come up with about 1200 toward the 3500 we need to save the house.  It’s the best we’re going to be able to do unless things change.  It’d be better if the hubs were able to get overtime, but the company he works for was bought out last year, and they’ve limited overtime drastically.  In doing so, it impacted our ability to get loans (we’ve tried), so help would be so, so appreciated.  Between the crazy lady that pretty much runs the town and all of this, my stress level is through the roof, and it’s not as simple as, “Go get a job”… I have a severely autistic son who cannot be left alone as he has a secondary seizure disorder and he is, for the most part, non-verbal.  If I were to try to leave him home alone, he’d either go wandering or he’d end up hurting himself.  It’s just not a possibility.  So, I’m asking.  I’m begging.  If you can help us, please consider doing so.  To those couple who have donated?  I appreciate it more than I think you’ll ever know.  I’d love to be able to keep writing, and I’ve been trying, but it’s so difficult when so much other stuff is so heavy in my heart and in my head.  TBH, I feel as though I’m about 2 steps from a nervous breakdown, but I’m trying my best to be positive.  Thanks again, everyone.  I <3 you all!

posted by Sueric at 11:23 am  

Monday, July 2, 2018

Status Update

Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know that updates are going to be sporadic at best for a while. We’ve got major financial issues going on here, and at this point, I don’t even know if we’re going to have a home in two months. So, please bear with me. I’m doing what I can, but it’s just not okay. Sorry.

We have to come up with 3500 by Aug 30 or we lose our house, period. The town crazy lady “treasurer” has fucked us AGAIN, and we can’t do anything about it. She attached our property taxes with a back sewer bill that she says is accurate (but you know, we’ve lived here for 4 years exactly, and the first year’s bills were paid. 50 bucks a month x 12 months is 600, and so I’m not sure who does HER math, but there’s no arguing with her, either), and there’s no way to fight it. We have to come up with this by then or we’re homeless. I have tried to apply for loans, but they say we don’t make enough, “sorry” … All of this, after I went down and helped mom get her stuff straightened out after niece bled mom’s accounts dry, so in doing that, it maxed out our credit cards, so I can’t get it off there, either. I’m so done. I just really don’t know what to do now.

I’ve been asked to link my paypal address if anyone has it in their ability to help us. I just … I feel so freaking done. I can send images of the notices if anyone doesn’t believe me…

Anyway, if anyone can… paypal addy is … I love y’all. I’m just not sure how I can do this at all.

posted by Sueric at 1:42 pm  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Just wanted to let you all know that I’ll be offline as of Friday, most likely. Because of the stupid delays in getting Eric’s unemployment card, we don’t have enough to pay the internet bill, so it’s going to be shut off. I will be able to check a few things on my phone, but that’ll expire next week, too, which stinks.

In other weird news, we’ll be moving soon (across town lol) because my mom is worried that this house isn’t safe, so she bought another one for us (we have to pay her back when Eric’s job starts paying and we’ve gotten caught up). I don’t know if they’ll let us hook the electricity up, though, as we’re a month behind on that, too, but the house was cheap (foreclosure; she got it for next to nothing). Then she has to pay for a new furnace, sewer hookup, and a new water heater for it, which is why I can’t ask her to help us. I suspect she might have cashed in a few things to buy the house (it was cheap enough that she has to pay cash for it O.o). If I had the money, I’d knock this house down as it seems like one problem after another. The latest is that the well on this property is going dry, and we just don’t have enough money to dig a new one, either. (It was after a crying convo with Mom about this that she decided we just need to get into a new-to-us house)

Thanks to those who have helped us as well as those who have offered moral support and prayers via email. It means the world to us, truly, and please, please, if you can, please consider purchasing my e-books or even making a donation, if possible. Right now, it makes me angry to have to ask AGAIN because I keep telling myself that I CAN see the light at the end of this particular tunnel, but honestly … We have 178 due for auto insurance, 140 due for electric so we can actually move into the other house–both due before we can even apply for a lost unemployment card–and that’s not counting internet or phones that we can live without if need be. Please, if you can help, it would be appreciated more than you know…




Or log into paypal and click on the Send Money tab. My email is

posted by Sueric at 6:13 pm  

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Little Help?

So figured I’d post an update to let everyone know how it’s going. We’re doing all right, all things considered. Eric started a new job, and so far, so good, so when things settle out again, I hope that everything will get back to a more normal state around here.

As some of you know, I started posting stories to a new archive, too, and it’s nice because you can download the stories in full in a few different formats, which is the best and easiest way to download the edited versions of stories I PDF’ed a long time ago as well as some I never have, like Chronicles, Meta, and Torrent. You can also comment there, so that’s pretty huge.

Sueric on Archive Of Our Own

As some of you know, we’re also having a devil of a time in getting Eric’s unemployment card, too. They say we can’t ask for a new one till the other one is lost for 21 days (business days, that is), and at this point, we’re getting pretty desperate, and Eric won’t get paid for another couple weeks (2 week schedule, and he’s ended up mid-way so no check for nearly 3 weeks ugh). We applied for food stamps which is another joke, entirely. Indiana changed the rules so you have to have your prior employer fill out this paper thing that is hard to do when the place closed down, but they don’t want to hear it and just keep telling me they need this form filled out… Frustration is pretty common. We’re down to very little in the way of groceries, (we have some meat that a neighbor gave us lol and some dry goods given by a friend), but are out of basics like milk, etc, not to mention things that we just don’t have money for, like toilet paper (I know; I know …) If anyone can buy my ebooks or help us out in any other way, it’d be so greatly appreciated. We’re down to very little gas, and if I can’t get Eric to and from work, we’re going to have a whole bunch of other problems, not to mention bills coming due that we just don’t have the money for and stuff like that.

Any help at all would be a blessing. I hate to ask again, but I just sort of feel like we’re ALMOST there—almost …




Or log into paypal and click on the Send Money tab. My email is

posted by Sueric at 3:57 pm  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

P9: 221 Haste to the Wedding

~~Chapter Two Hundred Twenty-One~~

~Haste to the Wedding~


It’s the wild life that’s in your veins

You’ll feel like an animal that’s been uncaged …’

-‘The Wild Life’ by Slaughter.




“You know, I’m trying to figure it out.”


Valerie blinked and leaned forward in the salon chair to peer down the line at her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Bellaniece.   “What do you mean?”


Bellaniece giggled, flicking up her claws as she examined the nail polish that had just been so carefully applied. “You’re actually allowing Evan to have a real bachelor party? I can’t decide if you have that much faith in him or if you’re just trying to give him enough rope to hang himself.”


“I have serious doubts that he needs that much rope, to start with,” Sierra Inutaisho remarked almost baldly despite the smile on her pretty face.


Unable to repress the slightly gloating smile that surfaced on her face, Valerie tried for an innocent expression though she had a feeling that no one was buying it. “Oh, I think he’ll behave himself,” she allowed somewhat dryly.


“Bassie’s the one who planned the party, so I wouldn’t think it’d get too out of hand,” Jillian commented, lifting a steamed towel off her face to peer out from under it. Then she giggled. “Well, maybe . . .”


Valerie didn’t comment right away, but she was hard pressed to keep her knowing grin from spreading. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Madison’s questioning gaze, and she purposefully ignored it as she accepted a glass of champagne from one of the technicians passing through.


“You know something, don’t you?” Madison asked in a hushed whisper.


“. . . Maybe,” Valerie admitted. “Let’s just say I have little doubt that Evan will have a very memorable night.”


Madison giggled but let it go for the moment.


“And this is just heaven,” Valerie went on, closing her eyes as she sank down a little lower in her seat. When Madison had suggested a spa-day for all the ladies, Valerie had jumped at the idea, and, though Madison had insisted that it would all be on the house, Valerie still stubbornly insisted upon paying her for it, instead.


At the moment, however, Madison was busying herself by giving Valerie’s mother the royal treatment, as it were. Hair trimmed, color refreshed, a full vitamin body wrap along with a chem-peel for her face, and it was absolutely amazing, how young she looked now. “Shouldn’t you be pampering yourself?” Rhonda asked, leaning back to raise her eyebrows at Madison.


Madison laughed and waved a dismissive hand. “I pamper myself all the time, and I love doing this!” she insisted. “And you are one hot mama!”


Giggling softly, Rhonda blushed. “It’s the makeup,” she demurred.


Valerie rolled her eyes. “Give it up, Mama,” she scoffed. “Of course, you’re gorgeous!”


“You’d better call and make sure Daddy’s taken his medicine before he sees you,” Kaci Lea warned with a girlish little giggle. She’d already had her cut and color retouched, not that she’d really needed it, of course.


Rhonda laughed but couldn’t hide her blush at the compliments, either.


“So are you nervous, Valerie?” Samantha Drevin asked, leaning forward to peer down the line at the soon-to-be bride.


Drawing a deep breath, Valerie shook her head. “Not yet,” she admitted. “At this time tomorrow? Probably.”


“Well, I, for one, can’t wait until you’ve married my Evan,” Gin added happily. Suddenly, she sniffled and quickly dashed a hand over her eyes. “My baby’s getting married . . .”


“Aw, don’t worry, Mama,” Jillian piped up with a bright smile. “You’ll have another baby soon, so not all your babies will be married, after all!”


Gin giggled, and for just a moment, a strange sort of expression seemed to flicker across her features, almost as though she wanted to say something, but she must have changed her mind because she smiled instead and shifted around in her seat a little.


“Gin? Are you all right?” Kagome asked, her brows drawing together as she carefully eyed her daughter.


Gin blinked and nodded quickly, her bright smile back in place once more. “Fine, Mama.”


Kagome didn’t look like she wasn’t buying Gin’s insistence. “Maybe we should go back home and let you lie down a bit.”


“No, I promise, everything’s fine,” Gin insisted, waving off her mother’s concern with a flick of her wrist. “Besides, I took an early nap at Cain’s insistence, so I’m good.”


Kagome didn’t look entirely convinced, but she slowly settled back in her chair once more.


“So where is Evan taking you on your honeymoon?” Evan’s aunt, Deirdre, better known as ‘Nezumi’, asked.


Heaving a sigh, Valerie rolled her eyes. “You know, he refuses to tell me?” she complained since she was getting a first-hand lesson as to just how stubborn Evan could actually be. She’d thought that she could get anything out of him—or she had until she’d discovered that he really had no intention at all in telling her just where they were planning on going after the wedding.


“I don’t think he’s told anyone,” Sydnie remarked, tapping a delicately manicured claw against her lips thoughtfully. “I know he didn’t tell my puppy anything . . .” Trailing off for a moment, the cat-youkai’s gaze shifted to Gin. “Did he tell you anything?”


Gin blinked and slowly shook her head. “He won’t tell me, either,” she confessed. “He just wants it to be a big surprise. I’m sure that it’ll be wonderful, no matter where you two go.”


“Knowing Evan, it won’t matter, anyway,” Madison added. “I highly doubt that he intends to step foot outside your hotel room.”


Valerie laughed since she had to agree with Madison. Knowing Evan, it probably would take some cajoling on her part if she hoped to see anything outside of the hotel, after all . . . Though, she had to admit, at least to herself, she didn’t think she’d have very many complaints, one way or another.


“But you’re going to be going on a good, long honeymoon, right? Or does he have too many other things lined up?” Kagura asked.


“Actually, no, he doesn’t. I’m not sure how long he wants to stay gone, but he did mention that it would be ‘a while’ . . .” Valerie glanced over at the woman who was currently leafing through the latest issue of Cosmopolitan. When they’d been introduced earlier, it had surprised Valerie that she had actually been a little in awe of that particular woman. Maybe it had something to do with her husband; Valerie wasn’t sure, but there was a certain presence about the both of them, almost a feeling of understated royalty—or at least, what Valerie imagined that meeting royalty in real life might feel like. But Kagura had smiled, and Sesshoumaru had assured her that he was pleased to see that Evan had finally found someone to spend his life with, and that had been enough to put Valerie completely at ease.


It was no small thing, really. To be honest, Evan’s entire family possessed that sort of aura, and if she hadn’t known already that there was something different about them, it would have been easy to guess. After all, it just wasn’t normal to see that many absolutely stunning people, was it? And not one of them looked to be the ages that she now knew they were.


Evan and the rest of his family had refrained from giving actual relationship statuses to the introductions when it came to meeting Valerie’s family, though. She had to wonder if the only reason they’d actually gotten away with it was simply because of the commotion that was surrounding these last couple days before the wedding, and it helped, she was sure, that the mansion was so full, so busy, that it was fairly simple to sidetrack conversations that might have led to the harder to answer questions, anyway. It wasn’t that Valerie didn’t want to tell her family about Evan’s, but . . .


But Samantha had no qualms in explaining things to Valerie—things that Evan had only brushed upon. It was Sami who had told Valerie the horrifying story of her initial meeting with her husband, Kurt. She’d told Valerie in such a matter-of-fact way about the atrocities that had been visited upon her when she’d spent time in a research facility, being tested because the human researchers had known that she was ‘different’. She’d told all of it to Valerie because she’d wanted her to understand why there was a slight rift still between her husband and her father, who still blamed Kurt for his involvement on some level, even if he was the one who had ultimately set her free, too. Samantha had felt bad because the tension had been noticeable enough, even if everyone else had tried that much harder to be cheerful and happy, as though they believed that they could compensate for it. It wasn’t that Kichiro had been openly hostile or anything, no, but maybe it was the overall happiness that seemed to engulf the entire estate that drew more attention to the strain. For his part, Kurt had been friendly, even if he was a little on the reserved side, and it hadn’t taken long for his dry sense of humor to show itself, either, and that was something that Valerie could appreciate. The rest of the family including Bellaniece were warm enough toward Kurt, though Valerie would be lying if she tried to say that she hadn’t noticed the slightly more reserved way that Bellaniece behaved around Kurt, either. It wasn’t unfriendly, it simply wasn’t as open as she normally was, either.


Samantha had also admitted, too, that Kurt had said that it might be better if he quietly ducked out of the celebration. After all, he couldn’t blame Samantha’s father for his feelings, either. Evan, however, wouldn’t hear of that, and, given that he’d already asked Kurt to be one of his groomsmen, then having to rearrange things would have just been harder than it already was.


After that talk, though, Valerie had understood, and even when Evan had asked her if she wanted to tell her family about him, she’d assured him that it wasn’t entirely necessary. Sure, she was certain that her family would be all right with the information in the end, but she couldn’t help feeling as though it wasn’t really her place to tell them, either. As much as she hated to think in terms of death or any of that, she knew her father’s life wasn’t something that could be measured in decades to come, and her mother?   Rhonda might well be in much better health, but the fact remained that parents were just not supposed to outlive their children. No, the only real question was whether or not to tell Garret or Kaci Lea, and there would be time to decide that later, too, though Evan had said something that he’d meant as a joke, but it still remained in Valerie’s mind.


Well, we could always try fixing them up with youkai. I mean, they might be human, but if they had youkai mates, then they’d stick around, too, wouldn’t they?” he said as they were getting ready for bed last night.


You make that sound a lot easier than I imagine it really is,” Valerie replied.


Evan shrugged then grinned at her. “Never say never, baby.”


But that wasn’t really the issue at the moment, even if she did wonder in the back of her head about the feasibility of the offhanded comments that Evan had made. The initial bout of nerves she’d suffered before all the guests started to arrive had proven to be groundless. It both pleased as well as humbled her to see just how sweet, how accepting Evan’s entire family—direct and extended—were toward hers. The women had all been more than happy to befriend Valerie’s mother and sister, and Valerie had seen most of the men taking the time to meet and talk to both her father and brother, as well. After meeting the family as a whole, she figured she shouldn’t be at all surprised at how Evan had turned out . . .


Valerie’s cell phone buzzed on the small stand beside her, and she smiled when she saw who was calling. “Aren’t you supposed to be getting ready for your bachelor party, Roka?” she asked mildly.


Evan chuckled. “Sure, but I figured I had time to check in with you before that. Having a good time?”


“The best time,” she replied. “Forget the rest of the party, I think I’d rather just move in here.”


“Oh? So what are they doing to you?”


“Right now, I’m soaking my feet in this tub of goo that feels fantastic.”


Evan’s chuckle turned downright nasty. “I’ll make some ‘goo’ for you, baby,” he offered.


Rolling her eyes despite the laugh that escaped her, Valerie shook her head. “Go to your bachelor party,” she told him, “and leave us alone, okay?”


He heaved a melodramatic sigh. “All right; all right,” he agreed. “You ladies have fun. I miss you.”


She smiled. “I’ll see you tonight.” Ending the call, Valerie laughed again. She hadn’t really thought that he could be any goofier, and yet, there was something definitely lighter about his mood, if that were really possible. In the last few days since he’d finally had it out with Cain, he had been so much happier, more at peace with himself. Come to think of it, Cain seemed to be that way, too . . .


They’d gone out to celebrate Evan receiving his doctorate. They’d brought along Valerie’s family, as well, making it a family outing of sorts. It was too bad that Gavin and Jillian hadn’t been there, but they weren’t able to fly in until late last night. Bas had looked rather shocked at first, but he’d also said later that it wasn’t really surprising. Evan had always been smart like that. Gin couldn’t help but to get a little teary over it all—Valerie supposed that her emotions were pretty touchy, but they were happy tears, and that was all right, too.


It was hard to believe that the wedding was so close—the wedding that, at times, she hadn’t thought would be possible. All the plans were finalized, everything was ready for the big day. Now if Valerie could just remember to stop worrying about those details and to let herself enjoy the next couple days, she’d be home free . . .






“I can’t believe you brought me to a strip club!” Evan exclaimed as he slipped into a chair beside Bas, who was leaning heavily on the table, toying with a cold bottle of beer. “You rock, Bubby! I take back every shitty thing I ever said or thought about you!”


Bas rolled his eyes but chuckled. “Yeah, well, since it’s your bachelor party, I figured that you’d want to have it at the tackiest, seediest, nastiest place I could find.”


Evan laughed but didn’t disagree. “Did you check it out before tonight?”


Bas snorted. “Nope.” Then he grinned. “I had the groomsmen do it.”


He choked on a sip of beer since his groomsmen were Gavin and Kurt, the most unlikely pair, ever, and the idea of those two coming in here for any reason? Well, that really was damn funny, all things considered. “Bet that went over well,” Evan couldn’t resist adding.


Bas actually chuckled. “Their mates found it amusing enough,” he had to allow. “The girls said it was much worse than the other ones on the list, so I guess you could say that they’re the ones who had approved it.”


Evan’s grin widened. “Sami and Jilli? Those two scoped the places out?”


Bas offered a noncommittal shrug. “According to Gavin, the girls insisted on coming along. Apparently, they didn’t think Gav or Kurt would actually go in if they didn’t.” Slumping back in his chair with a thoughtful scowl, Bas shrugged. “They were probably right.”


Evan had to laugh since those two were currently sitting at a table as far back as possible with Sesshoumaru Inutaisho and Griffin Marin—all four of whom looked as though they’d rather be just about anywhere on earth than right where they were.


Grimacing when the music cranked a notch or two louder, announcing with the dimming of the house lights, the raising of the strobing spotlights above the stage that the real show was about to begin, Bas slowly shook his head and heaved an audible sigh.


“Kurt and Gavin said that you’re to blame for all of this,” Toga Inutaisho remarked, stopping beside the table to give Bas a very pointed look.


“If it were up to me, I’d have just had a football party or something,” Bas allowed, a slight grin surfacing on his features. “But it’s for him, so . . .”


Letting out a deep breath, Toga shook his head but chuckled. “Somehow, I feel that this has ‘disaster’ written all over it,” he added.


Evan grinned. “Aw, c’mon, Toga! You can’t really say that you wouldn’t enjoy watching Sierra if she wanted to put on a striptease for you.”


Toga’s answer to that was a terse grunt, and even in the dusky light of the club, Evan could make out the trace of red that had filtered into Toga’s cheeks.


“You’re bent,” Bas muttered as he tipped his beer to his lips.


“I have to say, I honestly didn’t think you had it in you to find a place this . . . interesting,” Kichiro remarked, slinging an arm around Toga’s shoulders.


“Interesting is a good way to put it . . . I suppose,” Toga grumbled, trying to duck away from Kichiro, who only tightened his grip on his cousin. “I feel like we’re all going to have to be fumigated before Gin allows any of us back into the mansion.”


“Well, Sydnie did say something like that, too, when I told her where we were going,” Bas admitted thoughtfully.


“Which reminds me: did you actually tell her what you were doing tonight?” Evan asked, raising a speculative eyebrow at his brother.


Bas snorted. “Yes, I did.”


“So how did you manage to make it out of the house?” Evan couldn’t resist asking since everyone knew about Sydnie’s legendary jealous streak when it came to Bas.


To his surprise, Bas broke into a somewhat smug kind of grin. “She was all right with it after I told her what was planned.”


Frowning at Bas’ almost cryptic wording, Evan turned his attention back to the stage, only to pull a classic double take moments before pinning Bas with a droll kind of expression that was completely ruined by the bark of laughter that quickly followed. “Oh, my God!” he exclaimed, smacking his hand down on the table in his complete amusement. “That is wrong beyond wrong!”


Bas grinned, too, but narrowed his eyes as he tried not to watch the spectacle unfolding on the stage where three transvestites were very happily doing their thing to the ungodly loud beat of the music. “You wanted strippers. You didn’t really say what kind of strippers . . .”


“Kami, I’ve been in some nasty-assed places before, but this . . .” Ryomaru Izayoi grumbled as he stomped over to his twin and cousin. “Are those . . .? Balls!” he exclaimed, the look on his face registering his abject disgust over what, exactly he was witnessing. “What the fuck . . .?


Staring in complete and morbid fascination, Evan couldn’t help the idiotic grin that only widened. The tops had come off and there was jiggling a-plenty despite knowing that those three were most certainly male—even if the upper sections of their bodies didn’t resemble their male counterparts in the least. “I can’t believe you hired ladyboys!” he said, holding his hand up to summon a waitress. “Bring my brother another beer!” he insisted, waving a hand in Bas’ general direction. “Holy hell, Bubby! This is awesome!”


Bas rolled his eyes as a soft chuckle escaped him. “I don’t suppose you’ve seen Dad’s face,” he ventured as the waitress hurried away to fill Evan’s order.


Dragging his gaze off of the strippers, Evan glanced over at Cain who did, indeed, have the weirdest expression on his face: a very odd mix of amusement and complete horror, like he was busy watching a train wreck full of circus clowns or something . . .


The overall effect was enough to send Evan into another bout of laughter, and Bas grimaced when the groom stuck his fingers into his mouth to unleash a loud, shrill whistle.


“Congratulations, Evan,” Morio Izayoi remarked, clapping Evan on the shoulder. “Can’t say your choice of bachelor party entertainment is my thing, but it’s nice to see that the bride to be . . . trusts you.”


Rising out of his chair to give his cousin a quick hug, Evan couldn’t help the cheesy grin on his face, either. “Morio! How was your flight?”


Morio chuckled. “It wasn’t so bad.”


“Speak for yourself,” Mikio Izayoi said, nudging Morio out of the way with a wince. Paler than normal, almost peaked, the hanyou looked like he’d seen better days, and considering his balance problems tended to be exacerbated by flying, Evan figured that he probably didn’t feel any better than he looked at the moment.


“Yeah, but you always hate planes,” Morio replied. “Besides, how could you possibly say it was bad when you got phone numbers from two of the stewardesses?”


Mikio made a face as his cheeks reddened—about the only trace of healthy color in his features. “I didn’t ask for them; you did—and they’re probably fake, anyway,” he muttered.


Morio chuckled. “Are you kidding? Women love you! They think you’re so darned cute!


Rolling his eyes at the added emphasis on the word ‘cute’, Mikio wrinkled his nose and opted to ignore Morio’s commentary instead. “I can’t stay,” he went on, turning to Evan once more, “I just wanted to stop in on the way out to the mansion.”


Evan nodded but then offered a nonchalant shrug. “Might want to rethink that,” he warned.


Mikio blinked, absently reaching up and fiddling with his twitching left ear. At this point, Evan had to wonder if it wasn’t more of a habit than anything else since he’d done it as long as Evan could remember. “What do you mean?”


Evan’s grin widened. “The women are supposed to be having V’s bachelorette party out there tonight—after they finished at the spa, anyway—so unless you want to be molested by all those women, you might wanna stay here.”


Mikio made a face. “The fact that I’m related to most of the women who would be at that party makes it all the more disturbing, don’t you think?”


Evan chuckled. “There’s that, too,” he allowed with an offhanded shrug. “Oh!” he suddenly exclaimed, digging into his pocket and pulling out his wallet to hand over the keycard for the front door of his house. He never used it since the identilock only required his thumb print, but he carried around the card just in case. “Go on over to my place, if you want. There’s food in the fridge, booze in the bar, and you’re welcome to use the guest room. It’ll be nice and quiet, too, so feel free to make yourself at home.”


“Oh, uh, okay,” Mikio agreed. “It’s not a problem, is it?”


“Nah, it’s all good,” Evan insisted.


Mikio didn’t look entirely convinced, but he finally nodded, taking Evan’s card with a rather wan smile. “Thanks. It’s just for tonight,” he explained quickly. “I’ll go over to the mansion in the morning.”


“Stay as long as you want,” Evan replied. “Besides, V was impressed when I told her that you’re an attorney, too.”


Mikio nodded, and Morio grinned. “I’ll take him over there. Don’t do anything fun without me!” Then he stopped to consider what he’d said and he shrugged. “Then again . . .”


Evan laughed and sat back down as Morio and Mikio headed for the exit, pausing here and there to greet their relatives in passing.


The stage music ended, and the strippers ran off the stage moments before the overhead lights brightened as the slightly lower in volume house music came up. Bas got to his feet and stepped around the table to grasp Evan’s shoulder as he turned him to face the rest of the guests. “On behalf of my brother, I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to celebrate Evan’s impending wedding,” Bas said, raising his voice to be heard over the low din. “Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure that Evan would ever find a woman who was willing to put up with him, but I don’t mind admitting that I was wrong. Valerie’s a wonderful woman. In fact, she’s so wonderful that she even sent over a cake for you, Evan . . .”


Evan turned and glanced around, breaking into another goofy grin as a huge four layer cake was wheeled out of the back by the trio of strippers who hadn’t bothered to retrieve any of their discarded clothing. The tiers were lined with burning sparklers, and when they reached Evan, the ‘girls’ hurried over to make a show of kissing Evan’s cheeks in the loudest, most obnoxious way possible.


Bas reached over and handed Evan a blunt-edge cake knife.


“I am not entirely sure I want any of that,” Kurt remarked dryly as he stepped up beside the would-be groom.


Gavin flushed deep crimson when one of the strippers shot him a slow wink. “Makes me glad I didn’t have one of these parties,” he muttered.


“Cut the cake, Evan,” Gunnar remarked from his spot at the table beside Sesshoumaru who didn’t look uncomfortable, exactly, though he certainly didn’t look impressed.


Evan stepped over to the cake, narrowing his eyes as he considered exactly how he should cut into it. Before he could lower the knife, however, he jerked back as the top of the cake seemed to explode. “Ta-da-a-a!” Bugs exclaimed, throwing his hands high in the air as he burst out of the cake. Decked out in a fluffy little bunny costume, the rabbit youkai wiggled his fingers at the rockstar.


Evan laughed as he helped Bugs out of the cake. The rabbit leaned over and planted a loud kiss on Evan’s cheek before relinquishing his hold on him. “Surprise, Zel! You didn’t really think I’d miss a chance to be your bunny, now did you?”


“I thought you said you were boycotting the wedding!” Evan exclaimed, slipping an arm around Bugs.


“I was going to,” he allowed with an exaggerated pout. “But getting a chance to see all these fine men? Well, how could I possibly pass that up?” He spotted Gunnar and gave a jaunty wave. To Evan’s amusement, Gunnar actually nodded in acknowledgement of the greeting. Bugs heaved a very melodramatic sigh. “That one is just absolutely scrumptious, isn’t he? Melt-in-your-mouth good . . .”


“Looks like ol’ Gunnar’s in a pretty good mood,” Evan remarked. “Maybe you should go over there and say hi.”


Bugs giggled, waving a hand at Evan. “He’d never give me the time of day, Zel, and you know it’s true . . .” Trailing off as he seemed to be considering his options, Bug’s broke into a grin. “Then again, it doesn’t hurt to be friendly, now does it?”


“He’s not going to hit on Gunnar, is he?” Bas muttered as they watched the overzealous rabbit bound away.


Evan cleared his throat. “Oh, he might . . .”


Bas broke into the barest hint of a smile. “Is it bad that I kind of hope it does . . .?”


Evan chuckled. “Nope,” he allowed with a shrug. “I kind of hope he does myself . . . So V ordered the cake, did she?”


Offering a little shrug, Bas nodded. “She figured someone as bent as you are would enjoy it, yes.”


Digesting that in silence for a moment, Evan chuckled. “And here I was nice enough to hire a real stripper to show up at the mansion . . .”


Bas blinked and stared at Evan for several long moments. “You didn’t.”


His grin widened. “Oh, yep, I think I did . . . Calls himself John Long Dong. He’s not nearly as impressive as you are, though, but the odds of getting you to strip didn’t seem very good. Anyway, I figured the girls would get a kick out of him.”


“John Long—?” Cutting himself off abruptly, Bas slowly shook his head. “Only you, Evan,” he muttered, but he didn’t seem nearly as irritated as Evan suspected he’d be. Either way, he’d thought that it’d be good for a laugh. He only wished that he could see their faces when they answered the door and found Mr. Dong standing there, waiting to join the festivities . . .



 <<< 220: Reconciliation

222: Reticence >>>




The Wild Lifeby Slaughter originally appeared on the 1992 release, The Wild Life. Copyrighted to Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum.

== == == == == == == == == ==

Final Thought from Bas:

John Long Dong …?


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.


posted by Sueric at 3:45 pm  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Holidays …

Season’s Greetings. Happy Holidays. Heaven forbid I say, “Merry Christmas” … right? Well, since this is my blog post, I’ll say it anyway: Merry Christmas.


I hope the holiday season finds everyone well and healthy. Life around here has been one huge roller coaster this year with more downs, it seems sometimes, than ups. I mean, on the plus side, we were able to complete repairs on the house —thanks to the people who helped us get those done on time! You will forever be in my heart; I hope you all know that.


On the down side, my husband’s company had a meeting around Halloween and told everyone that things were ‘looking up, blah blah blah’, and then last week, another meeting to announce that they’re closing as of March 2014. It felt kind of like a kick in the gut, or maybe the very last indignity heaped upon an already craptastic year. My positivity at this point is shaky at best and barely hanging on, and it feels sometimes like the more I try to encourage others, the more my life seems to fall apart. At this point, I’m just trying to hold everything together for my husband’s sake. I mean, this isn’t his fault. He’s worked there for fifteen years now, and then this. It’s all so horrible, and I’m glad they’re giving everyone notice, but just before Christmas . . . well, it makes everything just a little harder to take. We already knew we had next to no money for Christmas, thanks to Eric’s lack of overtime. My kids are old enough to know that they won’t get a lot for Christmas, and they’re okay with that. They’re just happy to be with us, and I’m happy, too, and yet I can’t help but feel like that happiness is so very fragile, as though it’s teetering at the edge of a very thin blade and that happiness is a tightrope I’m walking. I feel like this is what I get for thinking that the worst was behind us because I know what the job market is like around here. It’s not good. We come from an industrial area, and yet all the industries are closing. Of the twenty factories that existed prior to the recession, only four remained. As of March, there will be three. People ask us, why don’t we move? It’s not as simple as that, either. As it is, we own our house: no rent, no mortgage, and if we can barely make it through as it is, then what hope do we have for a time when we won’t have an income to speak of (because unemployment is just not enough to make it.) Will Eric get a severance package? Sure, but not in the true sense of the term. He’ll get a very small amount for his fifteen years of dedicated employment, and all that will serve to do is screw with filing for unemployment and such because, as many know, even if you want food stamps, you have to starve for a good month before you can even qualify to get those, too.)


I feel like we’re at the very bottom of a glass cylinder that stretches up to the skies. There’s nothing to grab onto; there’s no hope at all. Eric doesn’t have his GED, and I tell him that he can get it—I mean, he kind of has to, all things considered, and yet, I worry about that, too. See, he was in a car accident when he was in high school, and it affected his short-term memory and still does. He has trouble remembering things, and if those things don’t interest him (like school work, for example) then he has even more trouble with it. When he dropped out of school, he was roughly three grades behind. He’s not stupid. He learns things through repetition and does a lot of note taking, but he’s scared it won’t be enough to help him get the GED, and I believe he can. At least, I hope he can since his ability to get another job depends upon it. As for me? I’ve been putting in my application everywhere, and nothing. Now, part of that, I know, is due to the fact that I haven’t worked since 2000. The rest of it? The biggest part of it? I’ll be honest here. I made some bad choices back then, and I got in trouble with the law. Where it used to ask on apps, “Have you been convicted of a felony in the past seven years?” it now asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”, and once they see the YES box checked, then you can forget about it. Yes, I realize that I made my own bad choices, and yes, I learned from my mistakes. Yes, I know that my inability to get a job is ultimately my own fault, and I take responsibility for that. But no where on those apps does it ask, have you learned your lesson? Do you understand the reasons behind your own actions? Can you be sure that you won’t repeat the same behavior again? Because I could answer all of those positively. I went to counseling. I learned things about myself that I didn’t know before—ugly things that I hadn’t wanted to know, and yet, I was able to deal with those same things and to grow from them. I know that people are allowed to make mistakes. I don’t think that they should be punished for them forever, but I am, and I know that it’s my own fault, but that doesn’t really help me feel better when I think, what the hell are we going to do?


As for my computer (which I’m not writing this from lol), I don’t currently have one. I have to borrow my kid’s computer because mine got dropped and pretty well shattered, which is the main reason I’m writing this now. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get another computer. At this point, it’s a frivolous thing that we just can’t afford. I just don’t know, so the reality of it is that all of my stories are going to be put on indefinite hiatus. I hope you understand. I hope to finish the stories one day, and I will check in as much as I can from my phone or on my kid’s computer. Just know that Evan and Valerie will get their happily ever after.


My wish for all of you is to be healthy and happy, to love and to laugh. The time I got to spend with all of you was truly a blessing to me and one that I will forever truly miss.



posted by Sueric at 3:22 am  
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