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 sueric1111@gmail.com 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

Update




 

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 sueric1111@gmail.com … I love y’all. I’m just not sure how I can do this at all.




posted by Sueric at 1:42 pm  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Stick a Fork in Me …

LOL ok, so not really.  Just figured I should let everyone know what’s going on around here.

So after goofing around awhile (and crocheting… I’ll admit, I’ve been busy crocheting lol), I figured I’d get back into things, so I wrote three and a half chapters of P10, thinking that I’d be awesome and shock my beta, Greta, with 10 chapters at once.  Of course, I really should have known better, all things considered.  Because I thought I’d do such a dumb thing, karma kicked me, and my computer crashed.  I do mean CRASHED.  It was sad.  There was smoke.  There were tears.  There was CUSSING.  Especially when I realized that, because I thought I’d be smart and dump on my poor beta, I never actually emailed the chapters, which meant they’re gone.  Totally gone.  Poof.  More tears.  Stupid computer L   (Yes, I’m going to blame it on my computer, absolutely).  So at the moment, I’m still trying to save up the money to replace my old, dead laptop, but life keeps emptying my pockets, which brings me to …

Shortly after that, one of our cats got really sick.  He was puking up everything (literally) that he ate, to the point that he just stopped eating.  I won’t bore you all with the details except to say that he had to be force fed from a syringe, had to go in constantly for B12 shots because his liver was failing, and in the end (and after about 500 bucks, all totaled), we had to let him go, which broke our hearts.  He’s missed every day, and the ache he left behind is horrible.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’re probably tired of hearing about it.  Even so, that was the hard part.

My sister is here visiting from Georgia, so that’s good, and because she is here, I’m currently using her laptop, but she’s leaving in a couple weeks to go back home, which will leave me lappy-less once more, but that’s neither here nor there.  The biggest problem is my eye.

Well, it’s almost healed now (thank GOD) but it was pretty scary.  A week ago last Thursday, I was sitting here (actually writing … I know, it’s a sign!) when I suddenly felt like I got something in my eye.  It felt like one tiny grain of sand.  That’s the best way to describe it.  So I thought that it’d come out on it’s own.  It usually does.

It was still in there on Friday, so the hubs and I tried for TWO HOURS to wash it out of my eye, and the speck moved (to a more painful place a few times) but never came out.  By then, it was late on Friday, and I thought, fine, I’ll wait till Monday and go to the doctor  …

Except that by Saturday night, around 10, I couldn’t take it anymore.  It was driving me insane, and I finally broke down and went to the emergency room (feeling entirely retarded for going in for a speck of dirt in my eye).  At least I felt slightly better when the ER doc (who was named Michael Myers, I shit you not) told me that the regular doctor would have just sent me in to the ER anyway since they don’t have the equipment to diagnose my eye there, anyway.

So they dye my eye bright freaking yellow (IKR?  Totally wanted it to stay in my eye so I could freak out my kids, but it wore out too fast, unfortunately) and took a look, and you know, it wasn’t dirt in my eye at all.  Nope.  I had a corneal ulcer/hemorrhage (google it.  The pics are scary as hell).  I needed 150 dollar eye drops (yeah, I about died, too), and I needed to go to the eye doctor.

So I go to my regular doctor on Monday (being on the anti-biotic eye drops for a little over 24 hours at that point, not to mention the antibacterial ointment I have to use before I go to bed that’s like putting Vaseline in my eye.  Yeah, it’s GROSS.  The doctor gives me a referral to a specialist but tells the nurse to arrange the appointment for—and I quote—a non-healing corneal ulcer which freaks me out entirely!

The eye doctor has been great, though, but she said that she thinks that my ridiculously dry eyes caused this, that my cornea tore when I blinked because my eyes are that dry.  So now I have trusty moisturizing eye drops and my eyes feel much better.  When I went in on Friday, she started me on steroid eye drops (O.o) and said it should be healed completely by the time I go in next Friday.

I’m only telling you all this because that’s why I’ve been sort of slow this week lol.

Another thing I found out (not about my eye or anything) is that they finally remade the forum on media miner, and the only reason THAT matters is because I was finally able to bark at them about the messed up emails for updates.  They re-enabled those today, but he said that they’re only doing what amounts to a daily digest sort of email instead of real time emails like they used to.  Figures, but better than nothing, right?

So about the updates …

I’ve been working on Desideratum as well as Metamorphosis 2: Legacies, so I hope that someone reads them lol

As of now, P10 is still on hiatus, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure that it’ll get written.  It’s not that I don’t like Mikio (I do) but it’s just not as exciting to me to write a story when I already know from start to finish what’s happening.  It’s hard for it to keep my attention, and I know that sounds terrible, but in my head, the story has already been told, so it’s hard to make myself sit down and write it out, especially when other things that have to do with it but are also kind of separate (it’s a long story) have the ability to hurt me, too.  I have explained it to some people who have asked, but…

In any case, I hope that someone will read what I’m coming up with now, and I hope that anyone who reads this post will understand and be patient with me while I try to re-discover my love of posting.

 

posted by Sueric at 5:19 am  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I’m so lost!

Lol Ok, so that’s kind of just me, being overly dramatic … Seriously, though, I just realized that my last blog post put me offline for awhile, but … I’m back (well, yanno!)

 

Anyway, if you don’t know, Purity 9: Subterfuge is now complete. IKR? Never, ever thought it’d get done; I know … But now it is. It makes me so sad. I’m really going to miss writing about Evan. A lot.

 

Also complete are the Purity edits I promised. It has a bit of a different feel, I think, so do download the new version of it, too. You can get both of those off Ao3. Just select the “Entire Work” button at the top of the chapter you’re on. Purity loads pretty quickly, but don’t be surprised if Subterfuge takes a bit to load in it’s entirety. It’s HUUUUUUGE …. But once it does load, just hit ‘Download’ and select the format you want. I know that the PDF version works for them—that’s what I downloaded. I can’t account for the others, though. But I hope you enjoy anyway.

 

So now, I’m just kind of sitting here, trying to figure out where I go from here. I could work on Purity 10: Anomaly, sure, but… I just don’t know. Let me know if there’s something in particular that you’re looking forward to? Help me out here. I’m feeling kind of lonely, after all!

posted by Sueric at 9:36 pm  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Offline

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 sueric1111@gmail.com

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 sueric1111@gmail.com

posted by Sueric at 3:57 pm  

Monday, June 2, 2014

P9: 225: One Summer Day

~~Chapter Two Hundred Twenty-Five~~

~One Summer Day~

-OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO-

All my life I’ve prayed for someone like you

And I thank God that I – That I finally found you

All my life I’ve prayed for someone like you

And I hope that you feel the same way, too …

Yes, I pray that you do love me, too …’

-’All My Life‘ by K-ci and JoJo.

-Valerie-

 

 

Pushing aside the antique lace curtain, Valerie surveyed the guests as a brigade of butterflies broke loose in her belly. The men hadn’t yet emerged from the mansion, and most of those in attendance were congregating in small groups on the lawn near the raised flower gardens. They hadn’t quite made it to the area where the ceremony was going to take place, and from her vantage point, she could see the gauzy white tents that were arranged further off to the side near the path that led to the beach where the tables had already been set up to accommodate the guests for the reception. After the ceremony, the chairs would be whisked away so that a dance floor could be put down before the small stage where a pristine white baby grand piano stood. When she had mentioned hiring a pianist to play while she walked down the aisle, Evan had grinned and proceeded to call his brother-in-law, Kichiro to ask him to do the honors.

 

He was the one who had taught Evan to play, so she’d assumed that he was good. What she hadn’t expected when she’d overheard him practicing on the piano in the Zeligs’ living room was the absolute skill with which he played. He was even better than Evan, which, in Valerie’s estimation, was saying a hell of a lot. Evan had said it, too, right after he’d informed her that he’d arranged to have the best pianist in the world play at the ceremony.

 

Valerie sighed softly, shaking her head as she watched Kichiro climb the stairs and onto the platform to warm up. He would play a few different pieces leading up to the wedding, but the one she’d chosen for her journey down the aisle . . . That Evan had already come up with about a thousand off-kilter jokes about the title of it—Bach’s Air on a G String—was not surprising in the least, either . . .

 

“Do you think people would be offended if I postponed the wedding until tomorrow?” Valerie asked, only half-joking as she narrowed her eyes at the picture that Madison took with her cell phone. His hair was cut in the same way that it usually was when he was attempting to hide out in the open, and it wasn’t the hair that bothered her nearly as much as it was the memories of the rather nasty run-ins she’d had with him in the past when he’d looked just like that before that made her feel edgy and even more nervous than she might have been otherwise. He felt like a completely different person, and that particular Evan was just not the one she wanted to meet at the end of her long walk.

 

Madison smoothed her dress and smiled just a little at Valerie’s question. “They might not, but Evan probably would,” she replied.

 

Heaving another sigh, Valerie shot Madison a droll glance. “I can’t believe he did that,” she muttered.

 

“Sit,” Madison commanded as she carefully retrieved the veil. Hooked over the edge of the rice paper changing screen, the wispy antique lace was caught in the breeze filtering through the opened balcony doors. Madison gave it a gentle shake as she waited for Valerie to sit down. “If it makes you feel any better, Gin insisted that I cut Cain and Bas’ hair, too.” She wrinkled her nose while Valerie slipped into the bench before the antique dressing table. “Well, she said ‘bald’, but . . .” Uttering a light giggle as she slowly shook her head, she grabbed a couple of hairpins. “I just could not bring myself to shave the tai-youkai and future tai-youkai . . .”

 

“That just doesn’t really comfort me any,” Valerie remarked dryly.

 

Madison shrugged though her smile widened as she met her friend’s gaze in the mirror. “Maybe not, but Sydnie damn near had a heart attack when she saw Bas.”

 

Valerie made a face. Yes, she supposed that Sydnie probably had, and, knowing her, she probably had a few choice things to say about it, too. “That bad?”

 

Madison grimaced. “Oh, let’s just say that I didn’t know that many curse words existed. I’m pretty sure she invented a few new ones, too.” Settling the veil in place, she sighed. “I’d hate to be him later on. I’m pretty sure she is taking this as a personal slight.”

 

“She’s not mad at Gin, is she?”

 

Madison laughed as she arranged Valerie’s curls around the platinum headband affixed to the yards of lace that matched the subtle underskirt of the gown. “Of course she isn’t. She blames Bas and Cain—exactly how it should be.”

 

“Maybe, but I still have a few choice things to say to Evan,” she promised grimly.

 

Madison laughed. “I’m sure you do.”

 

That earned her a longsuffering glance, but she sighed instead of saying anything else on the matter.

 

“There,” Madison announced after carefully pinning the headband in place. “You look wonderful—drop dead gorgeous.”

 

“Thanks, Maddy,” Valerie said, rising to her feet.

 

Valerie didn’t really look relieved, but she heaved a deep breath and worried at her lower lip as the door opened behind them. The chime of little girls’ laughter seemed to lift the slight foreboding that had fallen over the room, and she smiled, unable to help herself, as the three little girls ran over to her to show off their pretty new dresses.

 

She hadn’t been able to choose one of the girls to do the duty of the flower girl, so Evan had suggested that she ask them all, and Valerie figured that was the best idea he’d had so far, really. Tanny, Kurt and Samantha’s daughter, was the oldest, but Olivia and Takara were only a few months apart in age and pretty darned inseparable, so there was no real way that she could have chosen one of them other the other, anyway. Even at two years old, Olivia and Takara were fast on their way to becoming the best of friends since Takara’s arrival a few months ago when Kagome and InuYasha had arrived to be with Gin while she was pregnant. Now they stood, holding hands as they waited for Valerie’s approval

 

Kneeling down before the girls, Valerie smiled at each of them. So sweet in the barely-pink satin dresses that their collective mothers had chosen, they looked like perfect little angels. “Aren’t you all just beautiful?” she said.

 

“I’m a flower girl!” Olivia exclaimed happily.

 

“Me, too!” Takara added. It was startling, just how well she was latching onto the English language. It seemed like her friendship with Olivia was beneficial to both girls since they seemed to communicate in a strange mixture of Japanese and English as they taught each other as they played together.

 

“I like your dress,” Tanny ventured, reaching out to touch the silk covering Valerie’s knee.

 

“And yours is just gorgeous, too,” Valerie insisted, tucking a flyaway strand of the blackest hair behind the child’s ear. The younger girls’ dresses matched exactly, but Tanny’s was just slightly different since she was older, though the satin and lace were perfectly matched. “Do you like your dress?”

 

Tanny nodded, then laughed when Madison handed each girl a small roll of candy. Evan had told her before that Tanny’s infatuation with all things sweet was far worse when she’d first come into the family, but she hadn’t gotten over it completely. Valerie figured that it was a good thing that Tanny’s metabolism was apparently high enough to burn through the massive amounts of sugar.

 

“Okay, girls! Let’s go on downstairs to wait,” Samantha said, clapping her hands to gain the girls’ attention.

 

Three little girls tried to hug Valerie at once, and that resulted in a very loud gale of laughter, and, with a swirl of satin and lace, the sounds of the pale pink Mary Janes clicking on the floor, and they were gone. “You look wonderful,” Samantha said over her shoulder with a bright smile. Then she closed the door behind them as silence fell over the room once more.

 

A soft knock on the door drew both of their attention, and she smiled when her mother, with Kaci Lea in tow, slipped into the room. Rhonda stopped short as she stared at Valerie, a sheen of moisture surfacing in her eyes. “Oh, I can’t believe . . .” she said, trailing off with a loud sniffle. “You’re so beautiful.”

 

Kaci Lea gave her the critical once over, and she finally shot her a reluctant little grin, too. Maybe it wasn’t the most open expression, but it was genuine, and Valerie smiled back.

 

Rhonda crossed the floor and helped Madison bring the veil up and over Valerie’s face. It fell to her waist.

 

Staring at her reflection in the mirror, Valerie swallowed hard as another wave of butterflies broke free in the depths of her belly. The fitted dress accentuated her figure well, skin tight to the hips where the skirt gently started to flare, wider and wider until it flowed around her ankles. The silk stopped just a few inches above the underskirt of chiffon and vintage lace, trailing out behind her a couple of feet in a whisper. The sleeveless gown was free of embellishment except for the silver thread line of embroidery that ran around the top and again around the bottom hem: a delicate line of gently scrolling vines. All in all, she had to admit that she loved the dress, even if she had teasingly dubbed it the Sausage Casing from Hell.

 

“Oh!” Kaci Lea exclaimed softly, snatching the garter belt off the table. “You forgot this!”

 

Madison took it from the girl and pulled it open as she gestured at Valerie’s skirt. “Oh, no, can’t forget that,” she remarked with a grin as she knelt down so that Valerie could step into it.

 

Hiking up the skirts so she could lift her foot, Valerie laughed as Madison tugged it over her shoe and carefully slipped it up over the sheer stocking. Valerie took over and tugged it into place before letting the fabric drop once more as she shot Madison a nervous little glance as the sound of the piano far below wafted through the window. He changed songs, and it was the last one before he began Air on a G String. “How do I look?”

 

Madison said nothing as she broke into a gentle smile and simply nodded.

 

Rhonda smiled and carefully gave Valerie a hug as she tried not to wrinkle her. “Sounds like it’s time,” she said as she grasped the bouquet out of the opened floral box on the dressing table. Perfect white peonies arranged with cascades of soft white tea roses, sprays of fern, blushing tendrils of wisteria . . . The scent of the flowers was absolutely intoxicating, and Valerie took it with slightly trembling hands.

 

Sparing one last glance in the mirror, Valerie then followed the women from the room.

 

The mansion was oddly silent, a strangely empty feel radiating through the very walls, leaving behind a pensive quiet that was curiously comforting, like the calm before a storm. It served to settle Valerie’s nerves. Ahead of her, the women were chattering, laughing quietly. Valerie smiled when they glanced back at her, but she didn’t really hear what they were saying. It felt so normal, didn’t it? Her rational brain whispered to her that everything in her life was about to change, yet a part of her knew deep down that the things that were important to her were going to remain the same.

 

She stopped short as she stepped off the staircase, blinking in surprise as her mouth fell open, as she got a good look at Bas. Hair cut short in much the same way as Evan’s, bangs trimmed just short of falling into his eyes, he looked neat enough, Valerie supposed, despite the obvious irritation in his expression. It just looked weird, really. She had grown way too used to seeing all of Evan’s family members with that flowing hair.

 

“Okay, come on,” Sydnie prompted, sparing a moment to straighten Olivia and Takara’s pale pink satin skirts before she handed each a little white basket heaping over with white and pink rice paper confetti that would dissolve instantly the next time it rained. Then she slipped Tanny’s basket into her hands and handed the five year-old girl an unwrapped candy. “Make sure they stay on the runner, Tanny,” Sydnie murmured, nodding at the two two-year-old girls. Tanny nodded solemnly.   Bailey shot his mother a longsuffering kind of look as he tugged on the bowtie around his neck before trudging off toward the steps that led down to the yard. She gave the girls a little shove, and they followed along just behind and flanking Bailey, who looked like he’d rather drop the ring bearer pillow and run than to walk down the aisle with his sister, cousin, and aunt. Sydnie spared a moment to pin Bas with a very dry glance before moving off after the children to take her place with the other guests.

 

Bas snorted indelicately, and Madison refused to look him in the eye while both Kurt and Gavin tried valiantly to look everywhere but directly at Bas, too, and both with varying degrees of success. Gavin finally turned, thus forcing his gaze away, but Kurt gave up the pretense of trying not to look as he stared at Bas rather blatantly, very curiously. “Remind me not to piss off Gin,” he muttered, slowly shaking his head despite the trace grin on his face.

 

Bas didn’t comment, but he did heave a sigh before shooting Kurt a very dark look as he bent his arm, offering his elbow to Madison. “Feel free to kill Evan on your honeymoon,” Bas muttered to Valerie. She bit her lip and tried not to smile as Madison drew a deep breath and hesitantly slipped her hand under his forearm. The two of them stepped out of the opened doors and down the steps toward the long white runner.

 

“Well, damn.”

 

Glancing up into her father’s face, Valerie’s smile widened. “Are you all right, Daddy?”

 

He wrinkled his nose at her show of concern. “Mind your own business, little girl. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

 

“Good luck,” Kaci Lea whispered quickly before stepping out the door on Kurt’s arm.

 

“You look beautiful,” Rhonda said, brushing a chaste kiss in the air near Valerie’s cheek. She paused long enough to cast Valerie one last, long look before sniffling softly and stepping away to take Gavin’s arm.   Gavin shot her a decidedly nervous little smile before the pair followed Kaci Lea and Kurt through the doorway. Maybe it wasn’t traditional to have her mother be one of her bridesmaids, but Valerie wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

“You ready?” Jack asked, his voice suddenly rasping, harsh. She glanced at him quickly, afraid that he really was overdoing it, but she gasped softly at the sheen of tears that brightened his gaze as he stubbornly stared straight ahead, cheeks taking on a decidedly ruddy hue.

 

“Daddy . . .” she breathed, eyes stinging as tears blurred her vision, as she reached up to press her hand to his cheek.

 

“Never thought . . . Never thought you’d ever want me to do this for you,” he admitted, clearing his throat, still refusing to meet her gaze.

 

Her smile trembled precariously as she blinked to dispel the moisture gathered in her eyes. “Of course I would,” she said softly. “I love you.”

 

He coughed, gaze dropping, and he quickly turned, pulled her against his chest, wrapping his arms around her in a tight hug, unmindful for the moment, whether he was wrinkling her dress or not. “I . . . I love you, too, little girl,” he rasped out, tightening his grip for a moment.

 

She hugged him back, unwilling to let go, wishing that minute could last for a lifetime, and maybe it did. Reaching back into the lonely place, into those memories of a childhood that was spent in solitude, and suddenly, it didn’t matter at all. She could feel it, couldn’t she? All those things that her father might not ever have been able to say, all those things that culminated in the somber sense of regret that was so palpable to her that it might as well have been a tactile thing . . . Closing her eyes, she willed him to know, to understand, that it was all okay. He might well be her daddy, but she didn’t expect him to be perfect, and what did it matter, in the end? And maybe . . .

 

Maybe all those things had led her to Evan, and that, in her estimation, was absolutely worth it.

 

“It’s time,” Jack whispered, giving Valerie a last little squeeze before reluctantly letting his arms fall away moments before offering her his elbow. He cleared his throat and sniffled loudly. “You, uh . . . You ready? I mean, it’s not too late to run away.”

 

She smiled, her laughter slightly ragged, as she gazed up at her father. He was teasing, and she knew it, and she shook her head. “I thought you like Evan,” she reminded him.

 

He shrugged. “It doesn’t matter if I like him or not,” he reasoned. “You’re the one marrying him—though I think you made a damn fine choice.” He shrugged as she slipped her hand under his elbow. Covering her hand with his, he started forward, leading Valerie toward the doors as the first notes of ‘Air on a G String‘ drifted to them. “Better than that damned Murwad, anyway.”

 

Stopping abruptly for just a moment, Valerie shot her father a suspect glance. “How do you know about—? Never mind. Evan told you, didn’t he?”

 

Jack neither confirmed nor denied Valerie’s question, and she heaved a sigh and then giggled softly. “He is a very nice man,” she maintained stubbornly, leaning toward Jack and dropping her voice to a whisper as they stepped off the porch stairs and onto the white runner. “I have very little doubt that whatever Evan’s told you is completely untrue.”

 

He chuckled then sighed. “Can’t believe you’re getting married,” he murmured.

 

Smiling as she met Evan’s gaze over the heads of the assembled guests, Valerie bit her lip. He seemed nervous—she could feel it. Bas leaned toward him and said something, and he shot his brother a droll glance before shifting his gaze back to meet hers once more.

 

“Aww,” Jack drawled, stopping just long enough for Valerie turn to face him. “Would you look at that? That boy actually seems kind of nervous.”

 

She laughed softly. “Daddy . . .”

 

Jack snorted quietly. “Tell me you ain’t above making him sweat it or was your mama lying about you being upset with him for hacking all his hair off?”

 

“Oh, well, when you put it that way,” Valerie mused. Then she laughed when her father resumed his slow gait once more.

 

Then Jack sighed. “He’s the one, huh?”

 

Glancing up into Jack’s face, she nodded. “He is.”

 

“All right,” he allowed at length. Less than ten steps separated Valerie from Evan, but even at that distance, she could feel the nerves that were rattling off Evan in waves of energy.

 

She’d seen him moments before taking the stage in front of hundreds—thousands—of fans, and she’d felt his energy at times like that, but it was always wrapped up in more excitement than anything. This was something else entirely. Nervous? Rather novel, wasn’t it . . .?

 

As she reached his side, Evan turned to take her hand from Jack, but he stopped the groom when he covered Valerie’s hand in one of his again, and when Jack’s gaze shifted to meet Evan’s, he was entirely serious. “I’ve made her cry enough to last a lifetime,” he said quietly, just loud enough for Evan to hear. “You make her laugh, son, got it?”

 

Evan blinked and nodded, his eyes suspiciously bright as he stared Jack in the eye. “Yes, sir,” he replied just as solemnly.

 

Jack eyed him for another long moment, then finally broke into the smallest of smiles. “I’ll hold you to that,” he promised, taking Valerie’s hand, gently placing it in Evan’s.

 

“So will I,” Evan vowed as his gaze finally shifted to meet Valerie’s. “So will I.”

 

 

<<< 224: Thwarted

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A/N:

Just a reminder: Purity 11 and 12 preliminary chapters are available to read in the Spoiler Room forum on the forum (Kind of redundant, isn’t it?

Also, I am trying out a new fanfiction archive since Mediaminer seems to be dying a slow and very painful death. I’m trying to catch up in uploading the Purity continuations there (currently working on uploading Justification there). Chronicles and Metamorphosis are already available there, AND you can load the whole story to download in your choice of formats, too, which is really nice. So please do feel free to check it out!

http://archiveofourown.org/users/Sueric

All My Lifeby K-ci and JoJo originally appeared on the 1997 release, Love Always. Copyrighted to Joel Hailey and Rory Bennett.

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Reviewers

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Forums

jrharry ——— OROsan0677 ——— cutechick18 ——— mariea ——— sutlesarcasm ——— diyuu24 ——— krislee ——— friskypixie ——— lianned88

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Final Thought from Evan:

Let’s get this show on the road!

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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~

posted by Sueric at 5:15 pm  
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