Timeline: Early December
Grey was excited as he walked toward the cabin. I’m acting like a child.
It had been a long time for him to be brave enough to go even half way. If it had not been for Rey he would never have said anything. Still he felt that she would realize how bad a choice he is for this and move on, but he was determined to do his best while it lasted and try not to hurt her.
The morning sun was still climbing it’s way in the sky when he showed up at her front door. He froze before he got close. There was a wall of wood that needed to be split beside the cabin. He stood there, axe in hand, and eyes large. Maybe I should be hoping I don’t get hurt.
Rey’s heart leaped when she saw Grey though the window, and then a moment of panic set in. Shoot! All the wood outside! She put the plate she was holding down with a clatter and ran for the door. When she reached it, she whipped it open. “Grey!” She didn’t bother to hide her happiness at seeing him. “You don’t have to split all of that.”
It was at that point she remembered she was wearing her nightgown, which was little more than a flannel shirt that came halfway down her thighs. “Um, why don’t you come in for some tea before you get started. I’ll just go… get dressed.”
Grey’s attention turned to Rey the moment she opened the door. There was no hiding his smile or wandering eyes. “You don’t have to on my account.” He said as he moved toward her with a relieved look on his face. “Well as long as it does not have to all be split today.”
“Definitely not.” Rey returned his smile, trying hard not to imagine his hands following the path of his eyes. She stepped back to let him in, and closed the door firmly behind him. “Have you eaten yet?” Her cheeks flushed immediately. “Breakfast. I was about to make something for myself.”
Grey inhailed as he moved past her. He had to hold back the temptation to grab her. “I could cook if you would like, while you change. Just point me in the right direction.”
“That would be very nice. Come on, I’ll show you where everything is.” She led him to the “kitchen” of her cabin, really just a corner of the main room. “Pots and pans in the rack next to the stove. The fridge is built in here, under the stairs,” she said, opening it up. “The cupboard next to it is the small pantry.” It was filled with all kinds of canned and dried goods, and Grey could see she’d stocked appropriately for a couple people to be snowed in for a couple of weeks. One thing that caught his eye, though, was the assortment of teas, including four different kinds of chai.
“If you want onions, they’re in the cellar.” She pointed out the trap door. “Just lift the trap door. On the side closest to us you’ll find a metal basket hanging from the floor. Just grab what you want out of there. The breadbox has got bread, maybe a roll or two.” Rey bit her lip as she thought for a moment. “I think that’s it. Make yourself at home.”
It was not long before the aroma of seering oniions and mushrooms filled the air. Grey had made himself at home in the kitchen making omelets and hash browns.
“Hope your hungry. I tend to overcook.” He said with a smile Rey returned to the Kitchen.
“I’m starved,” she replied. And not just for your food. “It smells absolutely delicious.” Rey smiled. “I rarely cook for myself like this. Is there anything I can do?” Say, jump you right now and hope the food tastes good cold? But she tried to be good, glad she had put on a belt with her jeans, and well aware of how much her tight black top showed.
“If you have juice or milk that would be good.” He stirred the hash browns and prepped the second omelete in the skillet. It didn’t take long to finished the meal and Rey was handed a plate-sized omelet, with a side of hash.
“Hope it is ok.” He grinned. ” You really don’t have to eat it if you don’t like it either. I won’t be offended.”
Rey got the pitcher of juice out of the fridge and put it on the table along with two large tumblers. She put a large forkful of the omelet in her mouth, then practically moaned in delight. “Oh god, this is good. You can cook for me any time.”
He smiled. “Thanks. I have not had the chance to cook for anyone in a long time.”
“Thank you. I wish…” Rey’s smile took on a tinge of embarrassment, and she changed the subject. “Rose was the one who walked me home last night. She asked about us. About what happened.”
“Oh yeah?” He ate happily at his breakfast.
“Yeah.” Rey took another bite of her omelet, trying to be casual. “Last night, she asked if I’d succeeded in seducing you as I’d planned.”
Grey swallowed a little slower. And cleared his throat. “You, planned?” He set his fork down and turned to face her more. “Rey I am very flattered. I don’t want to say the worng thing and scare you. I have done things wrong in the past and I don’t want to mess this up. Hope you can forgive me for wanting to go slow with this, but I don’t want to see regret in your eyes on this.”
“Lyla and Rose did their best to get me to understand what to expect if I pursue a relationship with you. They were very graphic, and very thorough. I thought that if I made you see me as a desirable female, you’d pay attention to me and we could start a relationship from there. They made me realize how short sighted that was. Instead, they advised me to drive you so crazy with desire so that all you could think about was how to get me to notice you.” Rey shook her head.
“That might work for them, but I couldn’t do that. That’s why I said what I did, about when you’re ready. I’ll be patient. Lord knows, I want to jump into your arms and be held and kissed, or fall asleep in your arms in front of the fire after watching a movie or reading a book. I’ve dreamed about that, and more, for the past two months or so.” Her laugh was more bemused than anything else. “Heck, the lust spirit wore your face when he manifested at the hot spring.
“So, to prevent Rose from deciding to get helpful and press things, I just let her think what she wanted. But I don’t understand why you think I’m going regret this. You’re a good man, Grey, and whoever it was in the past who hurt you, I’m not her.”
Rey sighed. “And there I go again, dropping a load of bricks on your head again. I’m starting to worry that you will regret getting involved with me.” She picked up her fork and began to eat again, dropping her eyes to her food. “I’ll just shut up now.”
Grey stood and hugged her. “You smell so good. You know that don’t you. Me, I’m not as good a man as you think. I did the hurting in the past. I wasn’t there enough, not commited enough, couldn’t provide what she needed. That was before I changed. Now I am even more a loaner. I am preoccupied with the spirit realm. I spend most of my time there.
“It has been a long time since I wanted to be with someone and it is you who made me feel that. Just you being Rey without the sublte chosen sweater, and the advice from the girls. You don’t need anything to catch my attention as you have had me entranced since I walked into your room with Iron-Claw.”
Rey leaned in to him and held him close. “I wish my sense of smell was better so I could better appreciate you.” She rested her forehead on the side of his neck and just enjoyed being held. “I’m not exactly an angel myself.”
She pulled her head back to look Grey in the eyes. “So, the sweat shirt thing was a bit obvious, huh?” She grinned.
“Not that I am complaining.” He smiled as he looked into her eyes. “How about this. We get to work on splitting some firewood. I can teach you how to swing an axe properly. Then we can take a break later and start dinner. Maybe go for a walk after that and come back here and settle in front of a fire with some drinks. What do you think?”
“I’d like that very much.”