• This section is for roleplays only.
    ALL interest checks/recruiting threads must go in the Recruit Here section.

    Please remember to credit artists when using works not your own.

Realistic or Modern Those That Remain

He'd expected some push back towards the idea of visiting Fort Haven, but Grim hadn't been expecting to be scorched by her words. He suppose he should have known better, known that the hope the curled and twisted in his stomach was the poison that would make him lose. Each time they'd spoken about Fort Haven it had ended in a fight between the two of them and he'd been foolish to think that someone she cared for asking would have made any difference. She stood in front of him, had he been a shorter man he was certain she would have gotten right up there in his face as she snapped at him, and he was grateful for the bit of space- otherwise he might have done something stupid. Like kiss her into submission, or throw her over his shoulder and cart her away from it all: instead his anger got the better of him.

"You're gonna back the fuck out of this when only moments ago that old man in there seemed to think you'd be taking up where he left off?" He stepped forward, getting into her space despite the alarm bells in his mind ringing. "Clearly I'm not the joker here but rather its you; giving him hope and then just shitting all over it with your lack of action. Real fucking funny Princess." His hands were fists, pressed tightly to his side as he glared down at her. One hand lifted, and he held up a single finger.

"I'm giving you one week, we'll both rest up like the doc suggested, by the end of it I'd better see your gorgeous ass sitting right there in my passenger seat." Where you belong. He almost added the last words, but it seemed too terrifying to put that out into the universe, because if Ruby scoffed or told him otherwise he wasn't sure what he might do. He let the silence linger a moment before stepping away from her and the turning away from her and grumbling. "Moronic... Lost fucking puppy." He shook his head almost in disbelief at himself, how could one tiny package rile him up so? The universe certainly was playing unfair when it came to Ruby and how he felt about her. It was a strange feeling to both want to kiss her and wring her pretty little neck.

Grim took himself towards the fire, unsure of where else to go, all he knew was that he needed to get some space before he went and said or did something really stupid. A few of the camps members also were around the fire, and Grim spotted Jack sitting on an overturned log, warming his hands over the steady flame that ate away at the wood. Since there wasn't anywhere else really to sit he sat on the other end of the log and stared sightlessly into the blaze. The amber in his eyes dancing along with with lick of the flame. He didn't understand Ruby's complete avoidance of anything to do with Fort Haven, and each time the subject had been broached she'd turned on him like a cornered animal. It wasn't like Ruby to run from her fear and it confused the hell out of him to see her like this.

He caught motion out of the corner of his eye and turned to see Jack holding out a silver little flask in offering. There was a silent moment where they considered one another before Grim accepted and took a healthy swig of the pure nastiness that lay inside. Grim's only indication that the stuff had been more intense than what he'd been expecting was the narrowing of his eyes and the barely audible hiss that escaped his lips. Nevertheless it made Jack chuckle and he accepted the return of the flash, taking a drink for himself.

"Made it myself. I think I finally got the corn and barley ratio right." Jack spoke and Grim grunted.

"I think you'd better try again. The fuck even is it?"

"Moonshine. Ruby found me a book on making it during one of her travels. It's not the bourbon I was used to before, but it'll do." Jack shrugged, taking another sip, once more he handed it over to Grim and he begrudgingly took another sip.

"You have access to corn and barley?" Grim asked quietly.

"We have a small garden here, nothing too big, but enough to get some greens in us besides the game we bring in." Jack explained, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. "You're welcome to it of course, mind you keep you nose clean." Grim looked away from the fire and noticed how Jack was staring at him, there was something stern behind that friendly face. In response Grim just nodded.

Meanwhile, Riley slinked out of the shadows and towards Ruby the moment he saw Grim walk away from her. Concern was etched over his features as he approached the woman, stepping into the space that Grim had just been moments before.

"Rubes... I saw you go into Syra's, are you alright?"
The change in his expression helped her to prepare for the words before they came, though that didn't truly make them any easier to swallow. Ruby stayed exactly where she was when Grim stepped into her space, colour flushing up her neck and into her cheeks as her heart started to pound the blood around her body quicker, as her adrenaline started pumping, almost like she was getting ready for a fight. Which in a way, she supposed she was. "I'm not the one who promised him," Ruby shot back, quiet fury laced in her tone, her eyes, covering her vulnerability. "Last I checked, he said if we 'happen' to be headed out that way, which also last time I checked, we weren't."

He held up a finger and Ruby did nothing more than scoff at him, although not before her olive hues flickered from that to his mouth because god damn she was fuming with him for not understanding, but also so ridiculously turned on that it was an effort to think straight. Nobody had had an effect on her like this before, so much so that her feelings didn't know what to do with themselves. It made it difficult to breathe, to exist, especially when tensions were already high enough as it was. The last thing either of them needed right now was to spend another night together and overcomplicate their already complicated situation. Or perhaps... that was exactly what they needed?

"Or what, grandad?" Ruby practically purred, her voice thick, velvety. Dangerous. "Don't pretend that you're giving me shit. Nobody tells me what to do and especially not you."

The silence that followed was crucifying but Ruby stood her ground until Grim walked away from her, her mind reeling. Did this mean that he wanted her to go with him? Because fuck, she wanted to, if it meant they could spend a little longer together. Yet at the same time... it was Fort Haven. The place all of her worst nightmares had come true, the place she had vowed never to step foot in again for anyone. Was she willing to break that promise to herself? Was she willing to step into the gates of hell for someone that she wasn't yet convinced would do the same for her, simply because if she believed it, she'd wind up more scared of what that meant than she already was?

So many thoughts and questions were crowding her head in the aftermath of their showdown that Ruby eventually relented and turned in the opposite direction to where Grim had taken himself. She felt obligated to take care of him while he was amongst her people but right now she couldn't bring herself to return to him. Ultimately, she knew nothing would happen without her knowing about it and so she continued, unaware of Riley given how engrossed in her own thoughts she was, until he appeared like an apparition right in front of her.

"Jesus, fuck. Riley! Give a girl some warning!" The redhead clutched dramatically at her chest and Riley grinned, despite himself.
"Where would the fun in that be?" He reached up a hand to ruffle her hair and Ruby playfully swatted at his arm. "I mean it though, Rubes. Are you okay? I was worried about you."
"I'm fine, Riley. Honestly. Nothing Syra can't fix up."
"You need stitches?"
Ruby shrugged. "Mhm. A couple."
"Can I see?" Her eyes narrowed at him for a moment and she had completely missed the way he looked at the campfire before asking, so innocently enough, Ruby lifted her top so her torso and the bandages were revealed, just like she might show a friend.
"Holy shit, are the wounds that big? What did you fight, a fucking bear?"
In response, Ruby raised her eyebrows, dropped her shirt and then swung a leg around to start walking by her friend, who was looking at her open-mouthed. "Wait... You're not serious?" Again, Ruby said nothing. "Ruby! No fucking way. Wait up." She was laughing by the time Riley caught up with her, wrapped his arm around her shoulders and under the pretence of wanting to hear the story, began to lead her away from Grim, towards her bedroom.
(OOC: This song was on repeat for most of my writing. The lyrics feel so perfect for Grim's head right now)🥲

Predatory amber eyes locked onto two figures in the distance and the sight filled his head with the thunder of his heart beat and the hollow sound of his breath as it whooshed out of his chest. Grim's hands dug into the wood of the overturned log and he suppressed the undeniable desire to march back into the danger zone that was Ruby with Riley of all people.

"Grim?" A voice cut through the thick haze of his murderous rage and the tattooed man blinked, pulling himself out of a lovely fantasy where he took his truck and drove back and forth over any part of Riley that thought to touch her, he'd start with that goddamn arm that curled around her shoulders. Instead of following through, Grim turned to Jack and tilted his head, from Jacks expression it was clear he'd asked Grim something but he'd missed it entirely.

"Sorry?" It took all of his self control to keep his gaze on Jack.

"I was asking if you'd like me to show you the garden?" There was a barely there smile over the second in commands mouth, and from the way the man's eyes slid to Ruby and her current company, he knew damn well why Grim's mind had been elsewhere. In the moment visiting the garden was the last thing Grim wanted to do, but he forced himself to his feet and gestured at the kindred soul of a man.

"Alright then." He rumbled, deciding taking a walk might be the best thing to do if he wanted to stay within the walls of the camp and near Ruby. Jack chuckled, rising up and soon both men were wandering around the house that housed the sleeping quarters and to the lush, if not modest little garden situated a little ways behind it. Grim recognized the tall stalks of tomato plants, with their little green fruits slowly turning to the lush red that would certainly go will in a soup. He stepped forward after Jack opened the little make shift wood gate and did his best to focus on the plants and certainly not towards the upper floor window that he knew held Ruby's room. It was next to impossible however and he hated his traitorous eyes as they moved towards the pane of glass he'd pressed her to less than a week ago. His gaze fell, and he watched as he moved a piece of wheat through his fingers, recognizing the familiar sensation of the crop against his calloused hands, how it caught and pulled at any dry skin.

"Tom's planted some carrots and potatoes as well over there. He's a bit persnickety with the rhubarb there, but it seems the rest is fair game if you want to use it." Jack spoke and Grim nodded along. If he had time to kill then perhaps he could see if his old hands remembered what it was to make something, rather than destroy.

"Thanks." Grim said gruffly, and he got to work harvesting some of the wheat as Jack watched him contemplatively. "Does..." The word slipped out before he had a chance to stop it and Grim's brows furrowed in a grimace as he looked away from the second in command.

"Does what?" Jack prodded.

"Does Riley often visit Ruby in her bedroom?" Grim asked, the question sounding almost painful as he forced the words out.

"Well that seems like a question you have to ask her, none of my business as long as no ones getting hurt." Jack told him, folding his arms over his chest and Grim felt his aggravation begin to boil up under his skin.

"Fucking great." He muttered, moving to his feet after collecting his bundle of wheat and began to march towards the gate, but Jacks next words halted him in his tracks.

"She doesn't look at Riley like she looks at you..." The earth under his boot crunched as he twisted to look at Jack, something almost victorious in Grim's eyes.

"How do I make her come with me?" Grim questioned, stepping closer to Jack, looking at him like he held all the answers for his problems.

"That's the wrong question, and if you think you can make Ruby do anything then she's going to walk all over you boy." Jack arched a brow when Grim scoffed at being called a boy. If anything Grim was older than Jack. "You need to figure out what's stopping her, the more you understand her the more you'll see why she's the way that she is." Jack reached out to slap the side of Grim's uninjured arm and with a cluck of his tongue he left Grim standing in the middle of the garden, his bundle of wheat hanging limply at his side. Perhaps the bastard was right, even if he went about giving advice in ways that made Grim feel like a teenager again. He'd never done well with taking orders, and it had been quite the relief to most of his high school teachers when he informed them that he would no longer be completing his high school degree. He hated feeling stupid.

With a growl Grim reached for the gate, snapping it open with a flick of his wrist and shutting it just as hard. He'd walked away from Ruby to find his cool, and yet he couldn't seem to find it. It was all too much, and his sense of logic was steadily depleting. He needed the calm that Ruby brought, even if she made him irate; it was safer to feel it all with her near. His long legs ate up the ground as he rounded the house and marched towards the door. He took the stairs two at a time and spotted Ruby's door at the end of the hall. His nostrils flared as he made his way to the door, his ears pricked for any sort of sounds that might tell him what was happening behind that one slab of wood that barred him from Ruby. He didn't bother to knock, and twisted the handle of the door and swung it open.
Every step that she took away from him she was aware of. It didn't matter how angry she was at him, or how much she thought that they needed space, Ruby wanted to be near Grim and felt a little lost when she wasn't. It was crazy how quickly that feeling had settled itself within her and even crazier that she had let it. Such a reliance on someone else terrified her and in a way, it made her want to act out, to push against it, to do anything that would allow her to get out of her own head. It was partly for this reason that she went along with Riley and didn't stop to question his motives, as well as the fact that she truly did believe them to be completely friendly.

They wandered into the unit that housed her bedroom and up the stairs, with his arm firmly in place on her shoulders until she needed to shimmy out from underneath it to get through the door first. "So what was he doing in all of this, anyway?"

Ruby headed over to the window once they'd made their way inside, which she opened, olive gaze dipping down towards the gardens that her bedroom looked out over. She spotted him immediately, not that she'd ever have admitted to looking for him, crouched by the patches of wheat. It took her several moments not to think about those rough hands farming and that tattooed chest working up a sweat before she realised that Riley had spoken to her.

"Who? Grim?" His silence answered for her as she turned and cocked her head in his direction. "He... He was shooting at it, just like I was. What happened was kind of a freak accident, you know? Nobody ever said that overgrown infected animals were the predictable sort." The redhead managed a small smile, though it didn't quite meet her eyes as the lie slipped a little too fluidly from her. She wasn't sure why she felt the need to be protective, or why the truth felt like it would suddenly put her in a position that she didn't want.

"Mm," Riley murmured thoughtfully, watching as Ruby collapsed down onto the edge of her bed. It was a little unusual that Riley was here with her come to think of it but she wasn't mad about the company.

"Are you heading out again soon, then? With him?" To this, Ruby gave a small shrug of her shoulders, the thought tugging at her chest.
"I don't know. I'm on rest watch for now, Syra's orders and you know how seriously she takes those."
"We all know how seriously she takes those. I gotta say, I'm wishing you a speedy recovery Rubes but at the same time... I hope it takes longer than a week. Things aren't the same without you around here."

The unexpectedness of this comment briefly wrong-footed her and she watched as Riley moved towards her before sitting himself down beside her on the bed. His hands ran through his short blonde hair and Ruby could feel alarm bells ringing as he spoke again. "I... I really miss you, when you're not here y'know?"
"Riley..." Ruby began but he quickly cut her off.
"No, please. Just let me finish. I'm worried about you, Ruby. That guy..."
"Grim... I don't think he's good for you. You don't know what a guy like that is capable of, what he's done, who he is."
"And you do?"
"No, look, I'm not trying to be cruel here. I'm just looking out for you because... because I--"

Riley had just lifted his hand to push a strand of her red hair behind her ear when the door swung open, revealing the very man himself stood in the entryway to the bedroom that they were supposed to be sharing. Ruby could see the fury on his features and she wondered how much of that he'd heard, if he'd heard any of it. Or how much he'd seen... Riley also stood next and positioned himself in front of Ruby, though she stepped around him in the end, not wanting whatever his stance was trying to offer her.

Seeing Grim as angry as he had been, only relit the fire within her and Ruby met his unwavering gaze with her own, suddenly everything else but him falling away from her.

"Please come in, make yourself at home. No need to knock or anything."
Time seemed to move in slow motion, the door swung open clattering into the wall with a dull thump as Riley stood from the bed vacating his position next to Ruby. Red filtered through Grim's graze as Riley's muffled words through the door replayed over in his mind. The bastard had been about to confess his feelings; not on his goddamn watch. Grim could barely believe that Riley had the gall to position himself in front of Ruby in a protective stance. As if he would ever do anything to hurt Ruby, sure he yelled at her sometimes but the little spark had thick skin, besides it turned him on to no end to see the blaze in those olive eyes of hers.

That same blaze pulled him back at the last second, her sass like a warm blanket over the anger that vibrated through him. A wide menacing smile appeared, one that could make weaker men shrivel in fear; but to the one person who knew him best, she would know his smile meant that he was gearing up to have a little fun.

"You, out." Grim growled the two words, jerking his head towards Riley and then to the door; his message abundantly clear. Riley's chin lifted, the stubborn set of his jaw indicating he wasn't going anywhere. Once more he side stepped, positioning himself in front of Ruby, everything about his expression telling Grim that the boy thought he had claim over Ruby. Pleasantly he leaned a little to the left to meet Ruby's eye. "If your little 'friend' doesn't leave in the next ten seconds he's gonna have quite the show while we have a little chat." The sun filtering into the room gleamed off of one of his incisors.

"Don't fucking touch her. She doesn't want you here." Riley snapped out, though his voice ended on a bit of a squeak as Grim stepped forward. "S-stay behind me Ruby."

"Oh you stupid, stupid boy." Grim crooned, dropped the bundle of wheat on the bed, wanting have have both his hands free. "Even I know better than to speak for Ruby. I may tell her what to do, but I don't tell her what to think." Riley visibly swallowed, his throat bobbing up and down with the effort it took to remain calm, but Grim knew that fear in the boys eyes well, he'd seen it so many times before. "Get the fuck out of my way." He growled the last words, stepping forward with the intention of getting to Ruby no matter the obstacle in his path. A small game of chicken ensued, resulting in Riley's small cry of surprise as the collar of his shirt was fisted and he was unceremoniously shoved to the side, sending him toppling over onto Ruby's bed.

"You and I are going to have a chat, and we're not leaving this room until you talk to me." Grim spoke as he finished the distance between himself and Ruby, towering over her. He didn't spare Riley a glance. Grim's hand extended, reaching out to lightly grip Ruby's chin, gently asking her to meet his gaze. In the background Riley struggled with the sheets, he'd inadvertently become entangled with.

"Let's make a trade princess." He ginned at her, remembering the last time he'd offered to trade with her had been only seconds after their first meeting. Grim's next words were cut off as Riley hurtled himself into Grim's bad arm, making the old Nordic man let out a hiss of pain as he stumbled to the side. Within seconds With his good arm he caught himself against the wall, stopping himself before he did something embarrassing, like falling on his ass. Riley rounded on him, ready to send another blow right into the bandages that were slowly dotting with fresh blood, but Grim caught the hand in his own, shoving it down and twisting, making Riley's whole body twist with it in order to save him from popping his shoulder right out. Grim then duck marched Riley out of the room, shoving him unceremoniously out the door and slamming it in Riley's bright red face.

Calm as ever Grim twisted, leaning against the door as Riley pounded against it, his eyebrow raised at Ruby. "A question for a question." He spoke over the din of Riley's struggles, "and if I promise not to kill the kid, you'll promise to help me bake bread this week."
Oh she'd definitely seen that look in his eye before and Ruby knew exactly what it meant so the menacing smile when it came simultaneously stoked her flames and sent a shiver zapping down her spine. Grim wanted to play and she was more than happy to oblige, even if that meant that Riley became collateral. She couldn't have cared less about this however, when he purposefully continued to step in front of her as though she couldn't, or even needed to protect herself. It was completely misplaced concern and in the end, Ruby was so irked about it that she had no choice but to snap back. "I can speak for myself," which was followed by an eye roll when he told her to stay behind him. Before she could say a word however, Grim got there before her and instead her voice tapered off into a mumbled, "For fuck's sake," as they squared up to one another, as though Riley stood a chance in hell. She had just been about to offer that they get a room when Riley was unceremoniously dumped onto the bed and she and Grim were left to face each other once more.

Her heart was thudding in her ears by the time she looked up at him approaching her, his demands coursing through her just as much as his touch did when he reached for her chin. Tiny fireworks danced across her skin where she could feel the roughness of his large hand, and how easily it would fit around her neck if he shifted it just a few inches. The thought dried her mouth a little but she remained stoney faced, even at the suggestion of a trade. So wrapped up in him had she been in that moment in fact, that she had forgotten about Riley completely until he charged at Grim's bad arm and interrupted them again. Ruby knew that he'd hurt the larger man, spotted the blood beginning through his bandage. "Riley!" But again, before Ruby could so much as suggest he leave, Grim was ensuring that he did exactly that.

By the time that he'd marched him outside and slammed the door in his face, Ruby was stood with her arms folded, her cheeks flushed from the combined irritation and anticipation for the situation. Riley once more faded into the background, despite his hammering on the door and the effortless way in which Grim held it shut. He had no chance and they all knew it. So rather than bothering to tell him as such, olive once more met the blazing amber that sizzled against the fathomless depths of black pupils. Ruby's first response was to let out a small bark of humourless laughter at part of the trade that was offered her way and without even thinking about it she started forwards again, stopping just in front of Grim so that she had to tilt her head up slightly to look at him. "You want me to bake with you? Wow. You're really set on living up to your name, aren't you grandad?" A glimmer of wickedness sparkled in Ruby's gaze as she shook her head and lifted her hands in incredulous defeat.

"Fucking... fine. I'll bake bread with you if that's what you want. Anything to put an end to this pathetic display. Now move out of the way."

Ruby didn't hesitate in giving Grim a gentle but firm shove to move him, just as Riley barged through the door like a raging bull, nearly toppling over in the process. "Have you quite finished?" The redhead demanded when he looked to be eyeing up Grim for a second round. "Seriously, Riley. Enough. This isn't a fucking boxing ring, now get the fuck out and I'll come find you later."

"But Rubes--" The withering stare that she gave him was clearly enough to tell him all that he needed to know in that moment as he gave one last huff and finally, without a single word he stomped away from the scene, leaving Ruby to slam the door behind him. After that, she rounded on Grim, too wound up to contemplate what he might be about to ask her.

"Happy now? You know, you've got some real fucking gall barging in here like this. I don't know who the fuck you think you are, but this is my god damn room and you knock before you come in next time, got it? Oh and by the way, you've got about five whole seconds to ask me whatever the hell question you came here to ask before I kick your ass out after him, twice as fucking hard."
On the exterior Grim looked calm and collected as Ruby began to move towards him. On the inside however, his blazing storm of attraction and lust grew tenfold, the dark coals of his eyes lingering on the way her hips swayed back and forth, those hips that were perfect to hold onto and leverage her to his will. His tongue moved over the top of his teeth and his eyes hooded as she stopped just in front of him, tilting her head back and exposing the pretty delicate skin of her neck. The skin that was now healed of his marks, but he'd be more than happy to reapply them. He couldn't stop the appreciative sound that resounded in the back of his throat as she lifted her hands in mock defeat and accepted his olive branch in the form of baking.

Warmth settled deep in his belly and when she reached out to press him away from the door he went willingly, stepping behind her as Riley burst through the door. From Riley's vantage point it was certainly quite the sight. Ruby's anger directed solely at him, her words pushing him further and further away from her, all the while a massive shadow stood behind her- the barely tamed beast that only she could control. Grim huffed when Ruby promised to find Riley later and shot the boy a warning glare over the top of Ruby's head, everything in his stare indicating that Riley would die a most painful death if he tried anything like he'd been about to do again. The boy folded like a leaf, his determination snapping like the weak spineless shit he was, and with one loathsome stare sent back at them he marched away, letting Ruby slam the door after him.

Ruby rounded on him, her anger should have burned another, but he was too far in to do anything but enjoy the heat. Every instinct in him knew that Ruby anger matched her lust in everyway.

"You and I both know that kicking me out of your room would leave us both... unsatisfied." The beast within him howled for her, and he succumbed to its demanding call, moving forward to press her back against the wall and hold her there by the throat, his inked fingers like vines as they squeezed lightly on the sides of her neck. "Here's how this is going to play out Red, I'm not going to ask this now, but before the end of the week you're going to tell me exactly why you can't come with me to Fort Haven; and once you tell me we're going to sit down and figure out how to fix it." His eyes were jumping between hers, and slowly, ever so slowly he leaned towards her- wanting to fuel her lust, even as he spoke of things she thought were better left unsaid. "This week you'll be getting a lot of questions from me, and I promise to answer honestly to any of yours. A question for a question." He repeated.

"For now my question is this..." He released her neck, leaning forward until his breath was warm against the shell of her ear. Husky, filthy words asked her what he might find as his hand trailed hand lower down her body, skimming over the parts of her he knew made her stomach hollow with pleasure. He asked her if it was all for him, if her body betrayed her anger. Before she could answer him however he thrust the hand that had been his leaning point against the door through her hair, his fingers fisting and pulling her head back even further, so that he might run his teeth over the delicate line of her throat. All the while his other hand played her like an instrument he'd mastered long ago.

"Answer me Red." He growled, lifting his mouth and hovering it just over hers. Once she had, he would crush his mouth to hers, in a demanding kiss that would send sparks through every atom in his body.
Unsatisfied. The word was enough to catch Ruby's breath, to hitch it and hold it at gunpoint as Grim came towards her again, pressing her back securely against the wall. It was as though the thought of feeling that way, given the fire glowing in the pit of her lower belly, would cause her physical pain, as though despite what she'd said to him, the challenge she had put forwards, she would pull him back anyway if he even dared to retreat, or leave her without what they both knew that she wanted. Ruby also knew that he wouldn't do that though, that they were both as tangled in the web of their own desire as each other. There was no backing out of this anymore. They were too far gone.

His large, inked fingers when they gripped around her slender neck were almost Ruby's undoing. Almost. She had been imagining what that delicious pressure would feel like since their argument had started and just like he knew drove her crazy, he was able to reach inside her head and pluck out the parts of her that desired him the most. He knew what made her tick, what would rile her up into a frenzy, and he was launching the tactics on her tenfold. That wasn't to say she didn't put up a fight herself though as she stared him down through his spoken demands, through the terror it iced in her veins, that was quickly melted again by the searing heat of sultry, dirty promises murmured into the shell of her ear. She didn't want to tell him anything and yet... she would do. If he continued to play her like he was, Ruby knew that she'd give him everything.

Grim's question, paired with his large wandering hands sent flames of pleasure shooting into every nerve ending that Ruby could feel. Her breaths came quicker with each promised word, with every centimetre lower that his hand trailed. Her cheeks flushed with the exertion of trying to keep herself still, of trying not to squirm in her pleasure, of not giving the bastard the satisfaction. By the time that he fisted her hair however, and tugged her head back to expose the lily white of her neck, leaning forwards to graze her with his teeth, it was all Ruby could do to gasp, her eyes rolling backwards slightly as he paired it with palming the places he knew would be her undoing. By the time he growled his demand, she was struggling with coherency past the blood pounding in her ears, past the way her body yearned for him as their eyes met in their final hour.

Ruby's were coal black, their usual colour swallowed by the lust that was eating her whole. Yet, even in amongst the chaotic river of her feelings, when she leaned in towards Grim's hovering lips, she still managed a breathy, "Fuck you," in one final act of insuborindation, before she gave in to him completely. Before she made the mistake of looking at his mouth and sealing the deal in what could only be described as a collision.

Their kisses were hungry, starved, full of gasped breaths and clacking teeth. Ruby's hands were everywhere, in Grim's hair, fisted against his chest, his shoulders, ripping, clawing at his shirt and the layers that kept them apart. She wanted to feel every inch of him, filling her senses, fanning the flames of her desire that were otherwise being fed by feelings so raw that she hadn't yet come to terms with them. All that mattered now was that she needed Grim, she needed him everywhere, all at once in a way she'd never needed anyone before him.

It didn't take long for their bodies to come together out of sheer desperation, for Ruby to finally relent as she begged and pleaded for more of him, for them to be shrouded in a glow of sweat and tangled limbs against the wall, then the floor, the bed. A growled reminder that Ruby was the one supposed to be taking care of him today saw their roles briefly reversed but not for long as she stopped understanding where she ended and Grim began. All of her complicated feelings; her anger, her frustration, her fear. He could melt them down into one pot of bubbling satisfaction until finally, after what could have been hours or years ,the last of their passion was spent and they had no choice but to collapse against each other, exhausted, overheated and covered in marked evidence of their tryst.

For a long while afterwards, Ruby laid sprawled across Grim's chest, panting, eyes closed, and only when her breaths resumed a steadier rhythm did she open them again, long enough to gently begin tracing the inked vines on his pectorals with her index finger. She didn't speak; the last time this had happened, she'd pretended it hadn't and though a large part of her wanted to run once more, she found herself to be stubborn against her own fear. She didn't know what this meant, if it meant anything, but it was nice just to.. exist in a moment that previously, she had been responsible for stealing away from them.

After a small while however, her thoughts finally formulated into words and she didn't look up at Grim as she did so, but instead remained, feeling the warmth of his skin beneath her fingertips, listening to the humming of his heart beneath her chin. "Why do you want me to go with you?" She asked quietly, softly, knowing full well that this was opening the door for her own answers, that she also knew she would eventually need to give. In a way though, this was Ruby giving her unspoken agreement to the terms, in the only way she knew how to. As if what they'd spent the past couple of hours doing wasn't evidence enough.

"To Fort Haven? You'd probably get the job done quicker if I wasn't there and then you'd be... free. Free of your debt, free of grant, free of... people. Just like you want to be."
She was completely and utterly perfect, every noise and slight roll of her hips told him that she was just as much lost in this as he was. It was ever so rewarding to see the war within her, the one that wanted to submit and give him anything, but Grim knew how much sweeter the reward of her would be once he'd earned it. Their future didn't feel concrete to either one of them, and it was that mixed with whatever it was in Fort Haven that had Ruby's eyes icing over. Grim certainly didn't understand her fear, but he did understand Ruby's pleasure. It was like she was made for him, each gasp or moan was designed to drive him mad with wanting and he was helpless to control himself when it came to her.

She cursed at him, ever a brat until the end and he adored her for it. The meeting of their lips wasn't slow or languid; it was fire and heat rolled up into one frantic package that had Grim's growl of approval echoing in the room and down the hallway. Ruby met his frantic pace with her own hunger, their fingers tearing at clothes and gripping tightly as he his need for her drove him to taste her against the wall of the door, sending the wooden rectangle shuddering in its frame. He praised her, loving the heady rosy flush that started from her cheeks and traveled down most of her body. Despite it all, even in their haste to have one another there was a gentleness that came when either of them spotted the thick white bandages that covered their wounds.

When they'd fallen to the floor, Grim had braced over Ruby letting his head drop to press the faintest kiss to the top of her bandages before lifting and letting his mouth consume her once more. No injury would stop him from taking her how he wanted, from whispering filthy words meant to rile and praise while sweat slipped between his shoulder blades. A long while later, when the sheets lay tangled at the end of the bed and Ruby's warmth covered him Grim rested one hand behind his head, tilting up enough so that he lounged while still being able to look up at the woman who lounged over top of him like a satisfied queen.

He wasn't thinking about Ruby's previous reaction after their night together, truthfully all he could think about was the comforting way her finger traced the vines that framed the geometry and Nordic tattoo's that covered him. Nothing existed beyond the walls of Ruby's room, after all- everything that was important to him was right there. He lifted a hand to brush a loose bit of red hair back from her forehead and when she asked him her question he considered how to best answer her. His heart flip flopped a little as she asked it, knowing that this was her own way of agreeing to everything he'd offered her for the week. This was his chance to understand her, to better know how to keep her- he just all needed to give enough of himself for her to feel the same.

"Leaving here without you seems dangerous, for you and me both." Grim lifted his shoulder in a half shrug before relenting and letting his heart speak the rest of what it wanted to say. Even if talking about it felt like he was opening himself for Ruby to use this against him. He knew deep down that she deserved every piece of what made him, him but after so many years of going it alone it was hard to trust that even Ruby would take those parts of him and keep them safe. "I'd just be thinking about you the entire time, and I know it wouldn't fade even if it was months or years before I saw you again. It would make me sloppy, and I'd probably get killed out there without someone to watch my back. Not knowing if you were safe..." He trailed off, his hand curling into a fist around a lock of Ruby's hair, though he didn't pull. "I can't move on without you, because this isn't finished between us."

"I might be free of Grant sooner sure, but that isn't what's most important to me right now." It all seemed so simple to Grim, get the girl, get the freedom and then take it one day at a time. He couldn't comprehend the darker wills at play here, or how they might come to use everything at their disposal against him. There was no way he could ever predict how much it was going to hurt. He didn't think about those things at all, instead he shot her a wolfish grin. "I'm not big on flowery words, but I hope that makes sense Little One." He waited, wondering what Ruby might say in response to all of that, before turning his question onto her.

"What was going through that pretty head of yours that morning in the cabin, after we'd been together?"
Last edited:
Even though this had been the deal that he'd proposed, something within Ruby was still surprised that Grim answered her question so candidly, candidly enough to heat her cheeks but for a very different reason to how they'd been heated only moments before. Nobody had ever showed her such concern before, or care, or tenderness, or at least not in this capacity anyway. To the point that Ruby wasn't sure what to do with it and that was part of her problem. Instead of trying to resist on this occasion though and mostly because she knew that she owed Grim this much for being honest with her, for not giving up on her when many others would have, she remained quiet and she listened, using the comforting motion of her fingers to distract her when she felt her chest flipping a little too violently, when she felt the storm of anxiety that threatened to sweep her along over the thought of feeling hurt again like she once had.

A small hum crossed her lips when he finished with a wolfish grin, because despite the fact that she wasn't looking at him, she could hear the smile in his voice. Ruby liked that he wasn't big on flowery words because neither was she. They didn't try to dress things up, or make things sounds prettier than they needed to be, simply because they understood each other on a level that was raw, and honest. "Sloppier than you already are, huh?" Her retort when it came was cheeky, very Ruby-like and she glanced up at him briefly with a grin in return, before with an exhale letting her chin rest back where it had been originally once more, her finger resuming its delicate swirling that occasionally went a little lower than was completely innocent.

"It makes sense. I don't want you to move on without me either," she eventually spoke, quietly, gently because despite her admission, both Ruby and Grim knew that this world wasn't always about what they wanted. There was so much more at play than the wishes and whims of, dare she even think it, the heart. For now though, that didn't make her words any less real, or the meaning any less profound. It was the closest they had come to admitting that there was a 'this' between them and although perhaps neither of them were ready to admit to things any further than that, this felt important. Like a step in the right direction, whatever that was.

It came as no surprise then that Grim asked a question in return, just like he'd proposed. Although, it wasn't quite the question she had been expecting and she told him as such while shifting so that she came to lay on the pillow beside him, still cuddled into his side, her hand still trailing up and down his chest, his torso. "I didn't think that was the question you'd choose," Ruby mused, her leg draping over Grim's thigh before she finally settled completely. "But to answer it I felt... excited. Seen. Terrified... and very, very hungover." A small snort left her with this admission but it was followed by a paused while she contemplated how best to explain what had been going on in her head that morning.

"I was glad that what happened between us did. I didn't regret it, not for a second but I... letting you in like that, being vulnerable. It's not something I'm good at and it scared me that I'd let you see it... and what that meant. I was scared because I'd taken another step to... making a connection with you and I know what losing something like that can feel like and I never, ever want to feel like that again." The redhead swallowed, pausing her fingers and flattening her hand down onto Grim's chest, steady over his heart. "That's why I... I didn't acknowledge what happened. It just felt easier that way."

Dipping her head down then before it was even a conscious decision to do so, Ruby's lips brushed against Grim's shoulder, once, twice, her mind wandering now that she finally felt as though she had some space to breathe. "Why didn't you kiss me?" She murmured, resting her cheek where her lips had previously been, each little touch and moment of affection experimental and cautious and so, so warm. "Against the tree?"
The combination of Ruby and Grim's bodies entwined together was quite the contrast. His was all dark jagged lines, muscle and dense; while Ruby's was soft curves and strength from within. The marks that the world had left on them matched however, long slivers of pale white scars that marred their skin both inside and out. Their wounds were old and new, and from the way Ruby looked down at him from her perch above him, Grim could tell that the old wounds still held a heavy weight over her heart. Despite it all she smiled back at him, that flash of teeth and curve of her lips did more to him than she could ever know, even when her hands ventured lower on his skin only to come back up.

She shifted, slipping from on top of him and settling in at his side as she considered his question, even telling him that she hadn't been expecting to answer that one. He rumbled as her leg draped over his and he couldn't help but hold her tight to him, his large hand splayed open in the dip between her ribs and her hip.

"Had to keep you on your toes." He told her, then falling silent as Ruby did the same and opened her heart to him. When she snorted, recalling how the whiskey had paid them back in tenfold for their imbibing he had to laugh as well. He thought to tell her about Jack's moonshine and how it might make the next morning seem like hell on earth if one had too much of it, but when Ruby's hand danced over the Valkyrie on his ribs in contemplation he remained quiet. When one didn't talk much, like Grim they knew when to spot the struggle of trying to put voice to the feelings that dwelled deep inside. She spoke of their connection and how terrifying it might be to lose what clearly felt so important, how she didn't want to go through that suffering again and while Grim understood, the selfish part of himself wished he could sweep the memory of her pain away. Perhaps then she wouldn't treat whatever it was that was blooming between them so delicately.

He didn't voice the thought however, knowing that wasn't the answer for Ruby, even if it had been for him. Ruby held tight to her pain, and he was quick to brush it away and hide it for no one to see until it was long forgotten. His time enlisted had taught him that and he would be forever grateful for it. She twisted her head, pressing a one kiss then two to his shoulder, where geometric patters swirled in a Fibonacci sequence.

"Thank you for telling me." Grim spoke softly, his eyes staring up at the ceiling. His hand caressed the spaces between her ribs before settling once more near her hip, which he gripped appreciatively. He would know better for the future that her doubts were not in them but rather her doubts were in her ability to handle the pain should things go wrong. Foolhardy determination filled him- all he had to do was make sure he didn't hurt her. Simple enough. Outside the evening sky was slowly dimming and neither one of them got up to pull the curtain down or light a candle as long shadows filled the room. The curious light between the two of them was enough, even without his vision she was letting him see her. Her next question made him laugh again and he reached over to grab the hand that was trailing over his skin and lifted it to nip at the skin of her wrist.

"If you'll remember correctly I did kiss you... Just not where you wanted, clearly." His voice was amused, playful almost. "Ruby, I knew that if I kissed you I wasn't going to stop until you were screaming for me to give you what you need. Begging me for what I can give you. Right there, for the whole camp to see. I'd get one taste of that sassy mouth and I'd be fucking helpless." His good shoulder, the one she rested on lifted in a soft shrug, taking her with him like a wave lapping against the sandy beach. "We still had to see the old man, so I thought I'd better control myself." He shifted, turning so his good shoulder rested against the mattress, and so that he faced her. With his commanding hands he kept her leg hooked over him, drawing the soft skin of her thigh over his hip. After making sure her head was comfortable he nuzzled into the pillow and then opened his eyes.

"Last question before I conk out." He told her, his voice already thick with sleep. "Try not to judge me to harshly for this one, but I'd like to know what you're going to do about Riley? It's hard to let you handle it when he thinks he can try the shit he pulled today." He confessed, rubbing a calloused hand over her back, tracing the bumps and dips of her spine as he went. He wanted to commit them to memory, so that he might close his eyes and be able to imagine this moment whenever he needed.
Ruby couldn't remember if she'd ever heard Grim laugh before. The sound rumbled through her and warmed her from the inside as she watched the crinkle of his eyes and the curl of the lips that she was all but addicted to. Instinctively, she reached out a hand to cup his bearded cheek, as if she could feel the amusement radiating from him, despite how her reaction feigned annoyance. "Clearly," Ruby reiterated, but her features dissolved into amusement too when he began to nip at her wrist. She had asked the question tentatively, not without worry and so when his answer came she couldn't help but smile, simply for how honest it was and because... it was so the opposite of what she'd thought. He hadn't kissed her, on the lips, because if he had he wouldn't have been able to stop. And Ruby doubted she would have been able to either.

"Well next time, remind me to make the first move. Then you'd have had no choice." A smirk turned into another a grin, and then a more relaxed sigh when she felt Grim's shoulder shift beneath her. Her earlier concerns had been briefly alleviated and after speaking some of her truth Ruby felt considerably... lighter. As though she had space in her mind to just enjoy this moment between them, which she continued to do so, especially when Grim turned to face her and hooked her leg over his hip, so they were intimately close at all times.

"Hmm, just so you know, I am judging you grandad. Even if I do kind of... like it when you're jealous. A bit. When you're not being annoying." She brought up a finger to tap the end of his nose but then her expression dropped and she placed her hand beside her head on the pillow between them when her thoughts of Riley sobered. "I'll handle it," she reassured Grim, looking up to meet those shining ambers. "I'll speak to him tomorrow. Just stay out of his way for now, alright? What he said is between me and him and even if you don't like it we... are friends. I'll sort it." Then leaning down towards him, Ruby paused before her lips touched his, just in time to flicker her eyes up to look at him with a smile reflected back in them. "Goodnight, Grandad." The kiss she planted on him was sweet, slow and tender and absolutely designed to stop him from arguing with her and she knew that he'd know that too. Nevertheless, she settled her head down on the pillow afterwards and closed her eyes, with a mind full of what her speaking to Riley meant for their future.


The next morning, Ruby was the one to wake up first for a change. She was still coddled in Grim's arms, against his chest and as she came too, the sunlight outside causing her to squint, she looked up at him and tried not to giggle at how boyish he looked in sleep. His mouth was open ever so slightly, his breaths deep, dark lashes fanning his cheeks. Anxiety threatened to take her as it usually did in those afterwards moments, but once again Ruby found herself pushing back against it in favour of kissing Grim's cheek, his nose, his lips and finally, reluctantly, rolling out of bed. Whether she liked it or not, word would have gotten out about what happened in her room last night and she wanted to try and put the record straight with Riley before Grim got up.

Once she was showered, dressed and refreshed for the day in another pair of grey jeans and a maroon hooded jumper, Ruby headed outside to where the fire was still burning, to where people stood around passing each other grey tin trays full of porridge. She took hers gratefully, ignoring the looks cast her way, and then found Riley through the flames before heading over to sit beside him on the log he had situated himself on.

"Hey," she began gently, but when he didn't respond, she took a mouthful of oats and then tried again. "Look, Riley. About last night."
"I don't want to hear it."
"I know that, but just... listen to me for a second. What you were about to say--"
"Ruby, just... don't. Okay? Whatever you're about to say, I'm not interested. That prick has got you right where he wants you and you're letting it happen."
She'd been calm up until that moment, but the accusation and the name caused her cheeks to flush. "Excuse me?"
"There's no point in us having this conversation when you're being manipulated. You won't see my side, or try to understand how I feel. The sooner he's gone, the better."
"So what, I can't form my own opinions, my own thoughts now, is that it? Fuck, and I thought you knew me, Riley."
To this, he sighed around a spoonful. "I do, Rubes. That's why I care about you. That's why this hurts so damned much. Look, just... Come and find me when he's gone, yeah? Hopefully sooner rather than later. Then we can talk."
"Hm, you tease." Grim growled playfully at Ruby's comment over her idea of making the first move. The idea that she would even be willing to entertain the idea of such a public display of their longing for one another had him almost ready for round two. Instead however, he asked his question while feeling more relaxed with her pressed against him than he'd felt in decades. Without the barrier of their clothes, and the wall of anger that often divided them, it felt easy being with her like this. Like he could go to bed with her each night, whispering old secrets and hidden desires. With Ruby it all felt possible.

She placated him, setting her boundaries to deal with her friend in her own way and though Grim was necessarily a fan he had to respect her choice. He'd been about to tell her so but her sweet lips pressed against his and he let himself linger with her in the moment. The gentle glide of skin was enough to settle him down and he gave her one last sleepy look before also closing his eyes.

"Sweet dreams, Red."

He slept so peacefully and soundly that Ruby's morning touches and kisses were translated to his dreams. Cool laps of water that danced over his skin as he floated in a mountain lake watching the clouds lazily drift on by. The dream was so soothing he barely recognized that Ruby was missing from the bed, only realizing her spot was vacant when he reached for her trying to snuggle up to her warmth. When he came up empty save for a few of the tangled sheets he cracked open an eye, his pupils blurring as he tried to pull himself from dreams to reality. After a few good blinks he managed to gain enough coherent thought to pull himself from the bed and glance over the room. Sunlight filtered through the window they'd forgotten to pull the curtain over, and Grim noted the bright blue sky that indicated that he'd slept in a decent amount.

It took some doing, but after a shower and a few cups of water Grim felt a little more awake, though he would have killed for a coffee. He couldn't remember the last time he'd slept that hard or that deeply and it seemed his body was in a state of shock from the rest it had been given. his dark sandy hair curled loosely around his shoulders and face, framing him like a mighty lazy lion. He opted for a set of dark jeans, and a grey button up before stepping out into the mornings light.

A few folks stood around the fire, chatting with Tom as he served generous helpings of breakfast to those around him. Grim's gaze immediately snagged on the bright flame of hair that sat on a log near the blaze and he paused, noting the figure that sat next to her. He understood that he was looking at anger and it pissed him off to see that anger directed right at Ruby. There was a moment where he thought about ignoring Ruby's request to handle it between the two of them. Truly he would have loved to have marched right up to Riley and booted him right over the wall and locking the gate so that he might never turn that anger to Ruby ever again. However, thankfully his self control kicked in and Grim forced his expression into something neutral with only a hint of malice before walking up to Tom as he bustled over the pot of porridge.

Tom's eyes took in his expression and after a moments hesitation he handed Grim one of the silver trays of porridge, though his was certainly less filled than some of the other members. Grim gave him a grunt of thanks and turned on his heel to find Ruby once more. While he had enough self control to keep his hands to himself in regards to Riley Grim had no control over needing to be close to Ruby, and he approached the two of them as they sat on the log and settled himself on the other side of Ruby. He hadn't caught any of their conversation but front the looks of Ruby's flush it had not gone well. Pleasantly, Grim began to dig into his meal, shoveling it into his mouth like he was a starved man, a noise of disgust sounded from his side and Grim caught Riley standing, a muttered oath under his breath as he marched away- kicking up dust in his wake.

"That looks like it went well." Grim mused between mouthfuls. "How are you feeling after that... and after last night? Any wounds hurting you at all?"
A stoney silence settled between them, one that saw Ruby biting her lip because damn if she'd have spoken in that moment, she'd certainly have one less friend. She'd never had to navigate something like this before, such childish jealousy that seemed to make someone... irrational. Insane. She wanted to grab a hold of Riley and shake him until he saw sense but instead, she settled for angrily spooning porridge into her mouth while simultaneously frowning and watching Grim wander over to them. He perked himself down on the other side of her with absolutely no qualms about what he was interrupting and of course, it didn't take long for Riley to get up in a huff and leave, with Ruby muttering, "Idiot," once he was out of earshot. She'd stopped eating her oats now, in favour of turning with a sigh to Grim when he spoke.

"Y'know, you could at least try to sound less fucking chipper about that," she muttered, although one glance at the amusement in those amber eyes had Ruby smirking and shoving her shoulder into his, to very little effect. After a few moments however, she looked back down at the dusty ground beneath their feet and shrugged in response to the question. "I don't know... Royally fucked off, I guess. He wouldn't even hear me out and to be honest, I don't really feel like trying again anytime soon. Not unless he wants to grow up by a few years first. I think... I'm probably best leaving it for now. We should stay out of his way, which I'm sure won't be an issue for you."

It was Grim's second half of the question however, that saw Ruby's mood settle a little, a small smile pulling at the corners of her mouth as she recalled last night and exactly the kind of wounds she had now as a result of it. "After last night... hm, pretty good. My stomach feels fine but my neck and shoulders, not so much." Red raised a brow and then grinned as she looked down at Grim's tin, which she had noticed held considerably less food than hers. Without even thinking about it she scraped what was left of her own into his and then set it down on the floor. "How about you? You should probably get those bandages changed again later. Your dance with Riley might have dislodged some of your stitches. Syra will be pissed." Then she added thoughtfully, "Maybe don't let her see your back though, yeah?", before leaning in and purposefully lowering her voice to something more sultry... flirtatious. "You may have a few scratches."

There was a mischievous twinkle in her eye because Ruby knew exactly what she was doing and in plain sight, but right now she didn't care about anything that wasn't the man sat right beside her and how they made each other feel. This was their first proper morning after and she wanted to make it count.

"So, you mentioned baking bread yesterday as part of our... agreement. When is it that you plan on unleashing that fresh hell upon me, grandad? Today? Tomorrow? Or do I get a couple of days' grace first?"
In his own way Grim understood Riley and his actions, especially in a world where each day could very well be their last. Unlike the era before, where most worried about what others thoughts of them or when their next promotion was. It was both interesting and foolhardy for Riley to have thought that someone like Ruby would just fall into his arms. The Ruby Grim knew didn't settle for anything other than what she knew she wanted, and even if she and Riley were similar in age that was the only thing going for them. Riley's expectations had crushed whatever relationship that was between them before it could even bloom and Grim was all the better for it. He listened through his bites, shooting her an amused glance when she commented on how his empathy for Riley and his desires fell short.

He liked hearing that Ruby was going to let things be between them for now and he took it to mean that the rest of the week they were here her time was hopefully his, and he'd be certain to monopolize it anyway his mind could come up with. To answer the second part of his question she made his skin hum with her sultry words and when she tipped the rest of her food into his platter Grim could all but feel the warm thrum of his heart as it flipped in his chest. He was too busy being enamored by the kind redhead to notice the way her camp members regarded the exchange, their discerning eyes passing judgement in silence as Ruby gave her food to an outsider.

"No complaints on my end." Grim spoke as he scraped more food into his mouth. He didn't want to admit it, but perhaps Ruby was right in visiting Syra once more. "We can see if she has time to see me." He grumped, "after we get started on the bread making however. There's no escape for you." He shot her a mischievous grin and finished the last of the porridge before scooping up her tin and standing. Voices around them hushed, their attentions turning to Grim and Ruby as they rose from their place and deposited their plates into the wash bin. Grim couldn't have cared less for their stares, his mind already focused on the task at hand.

With deliberate steps he led Ruby around to the sleeping house and to the garden where a few blackberries and their thorny bushes leaned against the fence that bordered the fence.

"We're going to need to make some yeast." He told Ruby. "Only way to get the bread to rise. We'll just leave some of these berries in a jar with water overnight and we should hopefully get a decent starter in the morning." They worked together, picking a few of the overripe berries, leaving the good ones for people to eat and placing them in a glass jar with lid Grim procured from his truck. He set the mixture on the dash of the truck and then turned his attention to Ruby.

"You can ask me your question if you'd like. While we walk to Syra." He offered as the two of them fell into an easy meandering step beside one another. It was kind of strange to have nothing looming over their heads, with nothing to do for a week but heal and get to know one another. Grim almost didn't know what to do with himself.
Ruby knew much better than when to challenge Grim further on something and the fact that he had half agreed to visiting Syra was enough of a yes for her. Although, the mischievous grin still prompted an eye roll and a groan at the premise of no escape, despite it being made in jest. Because if Ruby was honest, baking bread with Grim sounded like a heavenly way to spend the majority of their day and she was looking forward to it in a way she hadn't anything for... as long as she could remember. It was just what she needed after the shitty start to her day.

Much like Grim, as they rose from their seats, Ruby didn't notice the way that voices lowered around them, so focussed was she on what he was about to show her. She happily followed after him to the garden, choosing some of the blackberries they needed herself and hanging pretty much off his every word; the redhead had taught herself a lot from books, but baking was not one of those things and she had no idea how to make bread, or what was involved. So, when the jar of their berries was placed in Grim's truck, Ruby found herself peering at it, nose wrinkled. "That's what's gonna make our bread rise? Are you sure?" When she looked at him however, she let out an exhale and straightened, knowing what his answer would be before he even gave it. "Whatever you say, grandad."

When it was finally time for them to head back to Syra, Ruby let her arm gently brush against his as they walked, glancing up at him at his suggestion of her asking him a question. "Oh yeah?" She fired back, raising a brow in his direction with a coy, if not very flirtatious smirk toying on her features. "And what if my question isn't fit to be asked around another human being? What then, huh?" When they stopped outside of the medical block however, Ruby grinned. "Guess you'll just have to wait a little longer for that one in particular." Then without any further warning, she dipped inside.

Syra spotted them coming almost immediately and stood from the desk she'd previously been sitting at, adjusting the glasses that perched on the edge of her nose. "Rubes! How are you feeling today? I wasn't expecting you back so soon!" Then her dark eyes flickered from Red's torso to Grim's bloodied bandages. "Oh my! Say no more. Come on big guy. Back in the chair." A slender hand waved him over and gestured for him to take a seat while Ruby settled by leaning on the back of it. "So how'd this come about, anyway? My bandages don't usually... leak, this fast."
"Tough guy here decided to dance with Riley last night. That's how."
"Oh. Oh I see. Well, in that case. I'm only gonna do this if you promise not to get yourself into such a fix again anytime soon, you hear me? There's only so many supplies I've got here. I already need to use twice as many to cover up these guns of yours." Tsking softly but with some amusement, Syra set to work on unravelling the bandages while Ruby watched, thoughtfully, considering the question Grim had requested she ask. After a small while, she finally spoke, her voice low.

"Alright, question number one of the day..." She began. "What... What did you think, when you first met me?" Ruby asked, glancing at Syra who seemed much too deep in concentration to listen to their conversation. "And why didn't you... kill me? I was at Strand for what you were at Strand for, after all."
It was incredibly rewarding each time Ruby nodded along with him during his explanations as he ran her through the steps of creating yeast. He could see her thirst for knowledge and wondered what sort of path Ruby might have taken if she lived in a world when collage and university were available resources. He tried not to dwell on the fact that she was the perfect age for those institutions where as he was... well he was well past his college days. She seemed a bit incredulous over the idea that blackberries would create what they needed after he placed it on the dash of his truck and even when he assured her and she brushed him off he bristled only the smallest amount.

"Tomorrow, you'll see." He grumbled as they fell into step beside one another. Ruby continued to be playful as she brushed against him- promising that he questions led to more pleasurable places but they'd better save them for another time. The great lumbering man eyed the woman next to him, his dark amber gaze curious as he mulled over the notion of how much she seemed to hint at the idea of more risqué acts of affection. The caveman part of himself loved the idea, showing the camp once and for all that he knew just how to bring the flame of passion within her to life and that he was the only one who could get her that way. He tucked the fantasy away when the arrived at Syra's and she immediately jumped into action, gesturing that he sit and she take care of redressing the wound.

"I'll... do my best, doc." Grim spoke through his teeth, the idea of now promising two women to not hurt the poor excuse of a man which was Riley was deplorable. What the heck did those two see in him that Grim so clearly did not? Syra seemed placated by his pained promise and got down to work, Ruby sat nearby and after a few moments of quiet she asked him her question in soft tones. Grim could feel the pull of some stitches as Syra tested them but he kept his eyes on Ruby as he considered. His mind flashed back to the day his life had changed, and it both felt so recent and yet also like ancient history. Those olive eyes had been what had saved her, the same ones that flicked to Syra ensuring that the woman wasn't interested in what they had to say. She'd looked up at him as he pressed her to the wall and he'd seen everything reflected back at him in those light green pools; and he'd reacted reasonably breathing out a curse as she brought his carefully curated life to a screeching halt.

"It's hard to explain." He spoke softly as well, holding her gaze even if a light tinge of pink coloured the apples of his cheekbones. If Ruby chose to comment on it however he'd go to his grave denying that he'd ever blushed in front of her. "I took one look at you and knew that I couldn't live with myself if I did anything to extinguish the light in your eyes. Before you life made sense, I could think my way out of most situations and I never froze. Had it been any other person I wouldn't have thought twice about cutting through their neck." He almost lifted his shoulder in a shrug but the steady hands of Syra stopped him. "You made me stop thinking and that scared the shit out of me." He huffed a little, his head shaking almost as if he still couldn't believe the events and feelings that had lead him to be there.

A dreamy sigh sounded next to him and Grim finally looked away from Ruby to see Syra's large eyes fluttering and she clutched her gloved hands spattered with blood close to her chest.

"Well aren't you two just the sweetest?" Syra sweet smile faltered a little at the sight of Grim's menacing stare and both lovers could see the visible swallow of her throat as Grim growled at her.

"I am not fucking sweet." He regretted the tinge of fear he'd put in Syra's eyes almost immediately and Grim's gaze dropped, in an effort to move to a more pleasant topic he rumbled once more. "Red. Same question." He wanted to know why she hadn't just shot him. He'd given her every opportunity to be done with him and yet even when Grim had shown her some of the darkest parts of himself she'd spared him.
Ruby was wise enough not to comment on Grim's ever so slightly rosy cheeks as he began his answer, though that wasn't to say that she didn't smush her lips together initially to stop from smiling an expression that only faded when he continued to explain. There were numerous reasons for why Ruby's amusement was quickly replaced by something more pensive, the first being that even though she knew they had agreed to answer these questions honestly, the sincerity with which Grim spoke momentary wrong-footed her. The second, was because his answer was so damn close to why she hadn't bumped him off straight away that it took her a moment to consider if he was playing some kind of trick on her; had he somehow managed to dip into her brain for the millionth time since they had first met so he could recall her very thoughts back to her in his own words? The third was because damn, if they were alone right now she'd be in his lap before either of them could even blink.

Moments later and Ruby's smile was back, alongside a slight shuffle of awkward until Grim's growled response to Syra, which immediately saw Red jumping in to defend her. "Ignore him," Ruby rolled her eyes. "He gets like this when he's not had his grandaddy nap yet. All bark and no bite." Then with a wink shot in Syra's direction, the older woman chuckling in response before she set back to work, Ruby tried to ignore the colour flaming her own usually pale cheeks. In truth, she was a little embarrassed that someone else other than she and Grim had heard something so personal between them, not because she was ashamed but simply because she wasn't used to such public displays of emotion that wasn't... anger. Nevertheless, when the question was shot back her way, she sighed a little and leaned back against the wall across from where Grim sat, considering. Thinking.

"What did I think when I first met you..." She began softly, her heart thudding slightly while she recalled that moment, the beast who towered above her, the amber, wolf-like eyes burrowing into her own. "I..." Ruby tried to continue, then let out a quiet sigh. "I remember thinking that I'd never seen amber eyes before and that they'd be the last thing I saw before... well, before you killed me. But then you didn't and it confused me and I... I don't know. I guess I felt drawn to you, in a way. I didn't even truly consider putting a bullet inside your head, simply because it wasn't an option. I knew from then that things were... different with us, because I'd never not thought about killing the people I came across before. With you, I felt safe and quickly. I trusted you, for some dumb reason. Still trying to figure out what that is to be honest."

Ruby averted her gaze then, clearly not enjoying the vulnerability of her admission. "Plus," she added, "I'd never seen tattoos like yours before so." Then she shrugged. "I thought it'd be a shame for them to go to waste." This time, when their eyes met again she allowed her lips to quirk into a slight smirk, a mischievous glint reflected there as Syra began to pin the last bandage and took the small opportunity to intervene with a clearing of her throat.

"Alright tough guy, you're all... done. How's that feel?"
Ruby kindly eased Syra a little more and Grim turned his disapproving gaze back to the youngster that knew how to rile him with the slightest look. He resisted the urge to rub his hand over his heart where the organ beat in an uncomfortable pace. He felt the final slide of the needle through his skin and he tried to convince the rest of his mind that the pain was the only reason he felt this way. It hadn't felt natural to speak so plainly in front Syra but he'd pushed through, offering the truth of himself even if it felt like he was peeling back bits of armour that now not one but two people could exploit. In a way he felt a little trapped, and he shifted in his seat, his gaze focusing on the healthy tinge of pink that also coloured Ruby's cheeks.

She considered him after he posed his return of a question and his focus was narrowed to only her. He barely recognized the shift of his arm as Syra began to bandage him- not when Ruby offered him the same honesty and openness. It was hard for the both of them, that much was clear; but from the way she spoke about him and their first meeting he could see it clearly through her eyes. The interest that had sparked between them like he was the oil and she was the flame. They would be forever changed from their happenstance of a meeting and that was something the both of them seemed to understand well.

She mentioned his tattoos and had they been alone he would have opened his wicked mouth and mentioned the one in particular near the V of his pelvis that she'd run her tongue over. Instead he matched her smile turning his attention over to the doctor without remembering to school his features and the kindly older woman was given the sight of a weary warrior at ease.

"Feels good, thanks doc." Grim cleared his throat, forcing his mouth into a stern line but it was already too late, and he tried his best not to squirm at the way Syra's eyes sparkled with humour behind the lenses of her glasses.

"You stay out of trouble now, you hear?" Syra pointed a bloodied finger in his direction with a stern waggle and she peered at him over the top of her glasses.

"No promises." He'd already promised her one thing and that was plenty enough. Grim stood, pulling his shirt to rights and towered over both of them women. "You." He narrowed his eyes on Ruby. "With me." Without another word he strode past Syra's work station and headed for the door. He didn't look back, he couldn't take the idea of seeing someone else warming to him. It was already bad enough that he couldn't move on without Ruby, adding a friend to the mix was unthinkable- not when he'd worked so hard to ensure nothing would make him feel like he had over two decades ago. Images of Josie's sweet face flashed through his mind and he stopped in his tracks, tilting his head up to the sun and closing his eyes. He tried to let the sun burn the image away through his lids but to no avail. He hadn't seen that image since meeting Ruby, and now as more of his guard slipped away he could feel the demons of his past trying to claw their way out of him.

He wasn't sure if Ruby had immediately followed him, but he sensed her once she drew nearer to him, the faint familiar scent of her filling his nostrils. He needed to do something, anything to get out of his head and back into the present.

"You guys got a mortar and pestle around here?" He asked softly, tilting his head back down and blinking away the spots that the sun had burned through his closed lids. "We can get started with grinding up the wheat. Tomorrow we'll bake."
The small interchange between Grim and Syra saw Ruby's smile widening, although the warrior's demand when it came changed the expression to a lick of her lips because damn, if they'd have been alone and he'd spoken to her like that. Instead however, the redhead shook off the impending attraction and rolled her eyes in Syra's direction, giving a small, jovial salute alongside a muttered, "Yes, sir," much to Syra's continuous amusement. That wasn't to say though, that she followed him straight away, lingering behind mainly to piss him off a little and also to chat to her friend about how her own wounds were coming along. Once the doctor was happy that Ruby didn't need any further medical attention, Red finally made her way outside to see Grim with his face tilted towards the sky. It didn't take a genius to work out that he was deep in thought and she didn't interrupt him immediately, but instead settled for quietly admiring the god-like man basking in rays of golden sunshine that picked out golden and reds in his hair. Only when she thought he might catch her did she start towards him slowly, green eyes scanning his features for signs of what he had been thinking about.

"Nope,"Ruby answered as she came to rest against a small wooden fence just in front of where he stood. "But rock on rock works almost the same. Come on, there's one in particular that we use."

Leading Grim back through the camp, Ruby headed towards Tim's shack and a large rock they had passed yesterday but thought nothing of. It was flat and sturdy and had markings in from where it had been used before. Beside it was a small stone that looked like it had been shaped into a kind of pestle that Ruby retrieved and handed to Grim. "If you start grinding, I'll gather the results."

As soon as they got to work, a companionable silence surrounded the two of them until they found a natural rhythm, with Ruby perched on the rock watching Grim work (and how the muscles in his arms bulged with each stroke), and scooping the ground wheat into a small bowl when there was enough for her to gather. Eventually, she was the one who spoke up first, after having spent the majority of time since Syra lost in her own thoughts.

"I have another question," she began eventually, glancing at Grim and then back at his hands. "What were you thinking about just now? When you came out of Syra's? You looked... lost in whatever it was."
The rock was smooth and well worn in his hands and Grim gripped the stone tightly. It had been a few days since he'd hung from the rusted over metal ladder and his hands had been damaged, but they didn't pain him as he rolled the rock over the stones basin and crushed the wheat into flour. He'd made flour from scratch only a few times in his life as the bakery had often just gotten its flour from the grocery store. He thanked his lucky stars he'd gone on a deep dive one night and learned how to do it from scratch. They worked well together, Ruby inspecting his work and taking what was finished and filled the basin back up with the wheat. Grim took pleasure in the silence between them as well, neither felt forced to keep up conversation and it was rewarding to think that perhaps she enjoyed just being near him.

Her question caught him off guard and the rock slipped in his grip, pinching his thumb between the two rocks. Grim cursed, pushing the rock away from him like it had just offended his entire being before reaching up to drag a hand through his hair sending his curls into a slightly crazy halo. His first instinct was to turn away and walk away from the question, away from the painful memories that threatened to clog up his throat and render him mute. Anger filtered through him, namely at himself. They say that time heals everything, but it seemed that time had forgotten about him and his woes. He held anger towards Ruby as well, hating how well she seemed to latch on the things about him that he'd rather leave dead. Needing something to do with his hands he picked up the stone once more and pushed hard against the wheat.

"I know I promised to answer everything as honestly as possible... but I really don't want to fucking answer that." He muttered his confession, hating his fear. He thought back to Ruby's fears about Rivers and how she shut down about them- how frustrating it was to not know. Pot meet kettle. Frustration for it all had a soft growl building in his throat, how on earth could he expect her full transparency if he wasn't going to give his own? But how could he tell her when he couldn't even find the words for himself? With another curse he tossed the rock back in the basin and rounded the stone. Ruby was within reach in seconds and he crowded her back against the stone, caging her there with the mass of his body. He had his hands on her hips, pulling her tight to him, tilting his head down so amber met olive once more. Having her there eased the fear and while it still remained he felt grounded with her pressed to him.

"Your doc reminds me a bit of my sister." One hand released her hip, lifting to thread through her hair at the base of her neck, fisting slightly so that she wouldn't look away from him. He needed her gaze on him to push him through the rest of what he had to say. "I used to work the night shift at this club, it got the kind of people you'd expect. Horny college kids and older folks trying to relive their younger years, but there was always someone that needed a little reminding to act politely or to keep their hands to themselves. I was there to help remind them and if they didn't I kicked them the fuck out." He wasn't sure why, but all these words felt so necessary and so he plowed on. "Sometimes people didn't take too kindly in getting the boot and they tried to fight it, and you'd think that you'd see a punch from a drunk man coming but sometimes they get lucky. I'd come into J.J's shop the next day and she'd always patch me up." The memory of it all flashed through him once more, and his gaze went a little unfocused as his hand went lax in her hair.

"I... I miss her." He couldn't bring himself to tell her the details of how he'd found her. Of what he'd done. Grim forced a grin that he didn't quite feel to his lips. "I hope that answers things for you."
The minute that Grim's hand slipped, Ruby knew that she had touched a nerve. His expression changed to something more... angry with her words and the curses spilling from him were enough to signify that something was wrong, if the way he tugged a hand through his messy curls wasn't. He seemed to be battling with something even as he picked up the stone to continue and Ruby found that she couldn't take her eyes off of him, just like she couldn't bring herself to take the question back, to tell him to forget about it. That wasn't part of the deal, that wasn't who they were. Both Grim and Ruby pushed each others' boundaries to the limit and now was no different. It brought out the best in them... and possibly the worst.

Nevertheless, Ruby hadn't been expecting the second curse, nor had she been expecting the abandonment of the flour in favour of Grim reaching for her and trapping her small body against the rock he'd previously been grinding the wheat against. The tool and the rest of the flour fell to the floor as Ruby felt her heartbeat increase, just like it always did when he was near her like this. His hands were like flames on her hips, the back of her neck, in her hair and she submissively allowed him to tug her backwards so that they could look at one another. Just as amber never left hers, green never left his while Grim worked through what he wanted to say. Ruby remained quiet, listening, allowing him the space he needed for his vulnerability and only when he had finished did she move, reaching up to brush some of his hair back from his face with her trembling fingers. "J.J..." She repeated softly, leaning up to press her lips to his neck just below his jaw. "You have your sister's initials tattooed on your neck. Right next to yours." Her words were murmured against warm skin while Ruby trailed up towards Grim's lips, pecking them once, slowly, twice, slowly. She didn't care who was watching; it was meant to be both a comfort, and a distraction.

It was always difficult to think of a time before everything she had ever known, but Ruby could easily imagine Grim's bear-like figure guarding a door and dealing with the people who pushed their luck with the rules. She could also imagine the softer side to the seemingly menacing security guy, when he turned up to his sister's cafe the next morning and sat and listened while she scolded him for not looking after himself, and patching up his knuckles at the same time. Ruby found herself wondering what had happened to J.J as she whispered her lips over Grim's cheek, trailing her hands down to meet his with a sudden idea that was born out of two reasons. One, because he had opened up to her and she wanted to do the same, to share in their vulnerability to make him feel less raw but two was because despite everything, she still wasn't ready to open up about Grant Rivers just yet and she worried that this could lead to that question.

"Come on," Ruby murmured by Grim's ear as her fingers laced with his. "Follow me. I want to show you something."

It was an effort to pull herself away from him but she did so gently, leading him by his hand back towards the buildings. Ruby didn't speak as they made for the stairs, up them one by one and then finally into her room, where once inside she clicked the door shut behind them. Slowly, she turned to face Grim once more and started towards him, while attempting to retrieve something from underneath her top. Once they were toe to toe, her fingers revealed a small, gold locket that she usually kept upon her person, hidden away in one way or another. They gently clicked it open to reveal both an older version of herself and a younger one, as she held it up for Grim to see. Like him, she pressed the front of her body into his as something to ground herself while, now that her own pain was out in the open.

"My mother gave me this before she... after she got infected. I don't know how she got the pictures of us, or where the locket came from but it was the last thing she did for me before..." Ruby swallowed slightly, still unable to say it before she let the locket drop again, this time at the front of her top. Her head tilted back to look up at Grim, olive eyes sparkling. "I miss her too," she admittedly quietly, lifting his large hand to press against her cheek in an attempt to show that she understood him, without him truly needing to tell her everything. Red wanted to ask more, of course she did, but before that she also wanted Grim to know what it meant to her that he was willing to give up these pieces of himself. "I've never showed this to anyone before."

Instinctively, Ruby shifted closer in the next instance, angling her head so that her lips were once more only mere inches from his. "You're the first, grandad."
She touched him like he wasn't a monster with a horrific past, her gentle hands pushing his hair back before she leaned forward and pressed her sweet mouth to the pulse at his neck. With her eyes off of him, Grim's gaze bounced up spotting a figure in the distance staring at them. He didn't even have it in him to shoot Riley a wicked victorious grin as Ruby's mouth dragged up. He looked away from Riley without a second thought pressing his mouth to hers and reveling in the comfort she offered him. It didn't matter that it wasn't only Riley's eyes on them as Ruby pressed once more before leaning back to consider him. He didn't normally like to hear his sisters name uttered by anyone let alone himself but when Ruby did it, he felt like it honoured her in way.

He was certain J.J would have loved Ruby, he could all but picture his sister whisking Ruby away for a night of movie watching and wine or stealing her away to any number of food and baking conventions. J.J lived for the free samples. The thought was bittersweet and the warrior leaned against the embrace of Ruby as she laced her fingers through his, tugging lightly when she wanted him to move. He could only nod, letting himself be carted away by Ruby as she led him back into the sleeping quarters and up to her room. He stepped into the space, moving towards the centre of the room and turning just as Ruby shut the door behind them. He smiled a real smile at her then as she walked towards him clearly fiddling with something at her shirt, if this was the reward he got when he opened his heart to her perhaps it wasn't all that bad.

She pressed herself to him, and revealed the locket from under her shirt. He'd seen it before, on her naked skin and tangled between the maroon scarf she occasionally wore. Not once had he thought to ask about it, and waited patiently as she clicked it open to reveal the photo inside. Her story was sad, much like his own and he let out a low breath as she whispered that she too missed her mother. Without even realizing it his hands had circled around her, holding her there as they drew another step closer to one another. She drew his hand close to her cheek and he all but melted as she leaned into the gentle brush of his finger and told him that he had been the first to see the photo- to know how closely she held the memory of her mother.

"You look like her." He murmured, peering at her through heavily lidded eyes as she drew closer and closer to him. She filled his senses and with each passing second the sorrow within him grew bearable. "Thank you, Ruby." He whispered the words, and for once in his life he didn't sound like it pained him to do so. Gratitude and devotion drove him to close the distance between them. He may have had her only a few hours previous but it was clear it would never be enough, Grim felt like an over eager teen when it came to Ruby. Everything about her begged to be worshiped and pleasured and he was more than man enough for the job.

Ruby seemed to understand Grim in everyway that mattered, she knew just what to say to bring him back from edge of panic and just what buttons to press to drive him mad with lust for her. She teased him, acting like a brat and he oh so loved earning her submission. He loomed over her savouring in their connection and leaned forward to growl in her ear.

"If I had the tools, I'd get you to ink your pretty initials just right here." He tore the hand she had looped over his neck over to his chest so that she could feel the pounding of his heart. "Right where you belong, Red." They rode out the wave of pleasure together, and by the time they were tangled up once more in the sheets the morning had turned to afternoon. Grim drew lazy circles over the slope of her lower back and stared up at the ceiling. It was his turn for the question and he considered what to ask her.

"I gotta know, since you clearly can't stop drooling over my ink; if you would get something yourself? And if so, what would you get?"
Olive eyes followed Grim's hand leading hers to his heart and for a moment, for one rare moment, Ruby felt a little too choked to speak. To know she held a place in his heart, one that he wished he could make permanent was something that she'd never experienced with another person before, or believed that she ever would. She could feel his heart beating under her hand, thrumming just like hers was so when they finally came together, it was just as intense, if not a little slower, more intimate; a swapping of feelings, emotions. Ruby kept herself impossibly close to Grim in every way possible, forced them to breathe together, to keep eye contact so by the time that they were fully tangled up once more, she was absolutely exhausted and happy to nestle into his side while he traced circles of varying sizes upon the sensitive patch of skin along her lower back.

For a long while they just laid together while they waited to cool down, which saw Ruby considering how she was ever supposed to go back to normal life again, how she was supposed to not jump into bed with Grim at every available opportunity. She felt utterly addicted to him and the way he could make her feel with a single look, and she could feel herself getting incredibly close to letting go of everything, to letting someone in so completely that there'd be no turning back from it. These thoughts clouded her mind until Grim spoke once more and she tilted herself so she could see him a little better, wrapping her thigh over his hips.

"Mm," she started lazily, "Do you want me to stop drooling over your ink?" She pressed, dipping forwards to kiss a spiral on his chest. "Just say the word, grandad." Ruby was teasing him of course and the grin she flashed him told him as much. "Would I get something myself though... maybe. Maybe like... your face, across my whole chest? I think that could work. No?" The resulting cackle once more informed him that she was joking before she finally settled into a thoughtful, more sensible answer, her head dropping back onto the pillow.

"I think I would but I'd want something... meaningful. Maybe... Oh, maybe a lioness and her cub? Just like the ones in the book I have. I'd have them just... here." Then she held up her wrist and drew a finger over the small space there, "I'd want it somewhere I could see it all the time," before adding a little more quietly, "Who knows, maybe one day I'll get the chance. From that guy you know." Her words were dangerously close to suggesting that they would have a future together, that they could plan for something joint, something that still connected them. They slipped from her before she'd even had a chance to think about it but when she did, the pang of anxiety pulled her back again, her body tensing slightly under Grim's rough fingertips.

"Will you get any more?" She asked quietly, mostly in an attempt to distract herself. "Do you even have any space left for another?" Then without warning Ruby began to move, sitting herself up so she was straddling his lap and had a delectable view of his inked chest from above. "Because from where I'm sitting you definitely don't."
It was like he was floating, even long minutes after they both panted one another's names and fell off that precipice of pleasure together. He loved that she couldn't seem to get close enough to him, and he was more than happy for each and ever brush of her thigh against his and the press of her head to his shoulder. She fit there so goddamn perfectly. He'd been serious when he mentioned her inking her mark on him and the thought was so appealing he lay there with the worlds biggest lazy smile.

"Don't you dare." He scolded in response to her offering to stop drooling over his tattoos and he joined her in her cackling as she suggested that his face be front and centre on her skin. "Absolutely not." He growled, rolling over to place his mouth over the spot she'd joked about. "I don't want to see my own face when I'm down here." He chuckled and returned to his back as Ruby settled next to him. When she lifted her wrist and spoke of the lioness and her cub he reached to kiss that spot as well.

"I like that." He thought for a moment to offer to take her to his contact Jasper, but she whispered her own question and something told him to leave the topic be for now. She moved to straddle him and Grim almost swallowed his tongue at the sight of the pretty creature above him. Instinctively his hands reached for her thighs, keeping her there. She asked if he had any space left and he laughed, "I don't have much, but there's space for a few small important things. If life decides I can, I certainly wouldn't mind."

It would be long hours before the two of them emerged from Ruby's room, and they had only done so when the growls of their stomachs could not be ignored. The two lovers were so caught up with one another that they barely noticed the whispers around them, a sickly rumour making its way through the ranks over what had been witnessed near the stone earlier that day. Ignorant to the worry shot Ruby's way they went and collected their flour and checked over the blackberries. Grim was proudly sharing the small bits of bubbles that rested near the surface of the water and he declared they would have a fine starter by the morning. They returned to bed not long after, falling into one another's arms and whispering their questions back and forth until the moon was high over them.

It seemed old habits died hard with Grim and with the knowledge that he would be soon be baking bread, his internal clock rose him at the crack of dawn. While it may have been the perfect time to begin the bread making process Grim found he favoured the quiet moment's to peer over at Ruby. He'd fallen into her bed and curled tightly around her the night before and now with her still pressed tightly to him he took the opportunity to study her features. She breathed heavily, the rhythm interrupted only by soft little sounds as her dreams took her to far off places. He found himself wondering if her dreams used to haunt her like his had, and if they had changed since then. He wondered if she would stay with him if he were to try and ask her again, but it seemed to soon to tell or even try to ask. They were only on their second day of rest- though perhaps they hadn't rested nearly enough.

The hungry needy part of himself wanted to wake her and demand her answers, but thankfully his logic won in this case. He'd promised her the week to decide and that was how long he would wait before he told her in no uncertain terms that they would not be parted from that day on, no matter where they went. Instead Grim settled for leaning forward and brushing his lips over Ruby's nose, and he chuckled at the reaction of the sleepy woman.

"You owe me a baking session Red." He murmured, this time moving his lips over the sensitive skin near her ear.

Users who are viewing this thread