Timeline: Evening, April 7th 2008
About halfway to the cabin, Rey ran her hands over Grey’s rear, then gave it a squeeze. “As much as I adore the view,” she said, “being upside down like this is starting to get uncomfortable.”
Rey was lowered gently to the ground. “I am glad to see you are mobile. There are a lot of people who would not move so much with wounds.” He thought for a moment. “Then there are those who try to move when they can not. Like Ramiel. I felt bad leaving him behind. I know how hands on he is. But i was relieved to see he understood how injured he truly was. Then there was Michael, putting everyone in risk to do what? He was almost as bad as Ramiel. It took a Dr Beckett four hours to patch up Ramiel and two for Michael. So what does he do… Oh I am going in with you..”
“Well, you know how stubborn I can be at times. I can understand why he wanted to help, but…” Rey shook her head. “There comes a time when you need to put aside pride and personal glory and do what’s best for the group.” She looked down at her torn and bloody jeans. “Yeah, most of that blood is mine, but Hamilton kept healing me until he was exhausted. He’s such a brave little kitty.”
Her eyes met Grey’s again. “I forget how many stitches they said I’d needed from that last spat where I got bit. That part was the worst, but I’ll be okay.” She grinned. “I’ll just need to be pampered for a little while. However, that can wait.” Her expression became more serious. “Did you want to talk about what happened?”
He look puzzled. “Like what? The fight, the guys and what they did? You? I don’t need to talk about anything. I can understand what happened and the outcomes of it all.”
“It’s just that you were so angry earlier at what Michael had done, endangering Selene and her child, I thought….” She smiled sheepishly. “Talking about why something made me angry sometimes helps me deal with it.” She shrugged, and cast her eyes down. “I had a lot of time to think about stuff while I waited for you and the others to come back.”
“Selene is pack, she is family. You protect your family. Micheal did not do that.” he said.
Rey nodded, then laid her cheek against his chest as a cool breeze washed over them. “I’d feared so many horrible things had happened while I waited there in the cavern. Tried to think of what else I could do to help other than stay there and stay safe. What I could do afterwards. So many people dying. I don’t want to just contribute by hurting, by killing.”
Grey traced the line of her back with his fingertips. “You did help.”
She shivered with pleasure and pressed her body tighter against him. “I know. I just want to do more.”
“What is it that you are wanting to do?” he asked.
“I know you said you wanted to wait, but…” The calm, rational speech she’d rehearsed flew out of her head. “I want to stop using the patch. God, it’s so selfish, but I want to have our child now, while I’m young and strong. I’ve been surrounded by so much death, I want to create a life with you.”
He looked at her wide eyed. “yes I can see how a baby in battle will tip the scales.”
Rey pulled herself out of his embrace. “That’s not what I meant,” she said angrily. She whirled around and took a step away then stopped. Taking a deep, shaky breath, she said more calmly, “just forget I said anything, okay? It’s just my stupid fears making me say stupid things.”
“Let’s not play the angry card here.” HE said lightly. ” I know what you are getting at. You thought about me not coming back and want to have a child because of it. Or rather so there will always be that piece of us both around.”
“I don’t want to have a child just because you might not come back, or so that we have something to leave behind.” She turned to face him, her expression resigned. “I’m afraid if we wait too long to try, it might never happen.”
Knowing that she would not understand Grey swallowed the laugh that was welling up. “Wait too long. Rey you are only 21. Women can successfully have children up into their forties now. There is plenty of time for this.” Watching her for a moment he continued. “It still seems that you are afraid I will die before you are able to get pregnant. But that is no reason to have a child, especially a wolfblood.”
“I know all that. It’s not you, it’s…,” Rey said with a sniff and a shake of her head. “Like I said, stupid fears.” She closed the distance between them, burying her face against his chest. “I feel so foolish.”
His arms embraced her as he tried to sooth away her fears. “Nothing you say to me is stupid. Any fear you have no matter how small is important to me.” He kissed her gently on her head.
“But on this subject it can not be fear that makes the choice. So we address the fear first, and then later if you are still wanting a child we can address that. Personally I feel you have not lived enough to have to dedicate yourself to a wofblood.”
“It’s not fear that makes me want to have our child,” she said with a smile, “or have you forgotten, in your advanced age, I told you before I wanted to.” Her voice was stronger, and he could hear the mischief in it. “The fears just made me want to move the timetable up.” She turned her head and pressed a kiss against his chest. “I’m still getting used to the fact I have you and the pack, and Ramiel. And I have to admit I’m still a bit shaken up over what I learned in Baltimore.”
“Then trust me that now is not the time to start a family. You need to get used to your life and live it first.” His grin mirrored hers. “Besides I don’t think you are ready to give up our play time just yet.” “I don’t think I ever want to get used to my life,” she said softly. “I never want to take you for granted. And you’re right. I do love our play time. Did you…” she paused and gave the underside of his chin a quick lick, “…have something specific in mind?”
Looking at the bloodstained jeans he said.”Something gentle I think.”
“Well, why don’t we move on to the cabin. You can check me out, and then we can decide how gentle we need to be.”
He couldn’t help the laugh then. He fell into step beside her and followed her to the cabin.
When the cabin came into sight, Rey slowed down. “I haven’t been home since the first attack. Do you think they might have targeted it, like they did some houses in town?”
Grey smiled and told her to wait while he checked it out for her. Slowly he opened the front door and crept inside. There was silence for a few moments then a crash and a scream. Grey was on the attack!
Rey jumped, and raced a few steps forwards before she forced herself to stop. He’d said to wait. She worried her lower lip between her teeth, her hands clenching and unclenching at her sides.
There was some more scuttering and then the unmistakible sound of snarling and snapping of a wolf. Rey took off for the cabin at top speed, and leaped onto the porch to come to a skittering halt at the window to the left of the door to look inside.
The giant timberwolf savagely jerking and whipping the object in it’s jaws. Upon a closer look Rey discovered that the object he was fighting was her throw rug.
Rey stood there, staring at Grey for a moment, then backed off as quietly as she could. She didn’t know if he was just playing around, or if there really was something wrong.
Grey played a few moments more then changed and walked out side. The shaken rug in his hands as the only thing making his appearance decent. “These are dangerous you know.” He said with a smile.
“Yes, I read the National Geographic article about them.” Rey with mock seriousness. “The lesser New Hampshire throw rug. Known to lie in wait for young women and then devour them.” Her eyes roamed over him for a moment. “However can I thank you for rescuing me from such a horrible fate?”
His smile broadened. “I am sure you will think of something.”
“I’m flattered by your confidence,” Rey said as she climbed the steps onto the porch. She reached out and caressed him boldly as she walked past him into the cabin.
She stopped by the couch and turned to face him. “I guess I ought to get out of these dirty things.”
“Yeah, you kinda smell.” He said as he shut the door behind him and picked up his pants.
She pulled her shirt over her head and laid it over the back of the couch. There were cuts and scratches on her abdomen that had already scabbed over, and her shoulder where she’d been bitten was bandaged up. She turned away from him slightly as she pulled her torn and bloody jeans down and he could see more scabbed over wounds – and that she was wearing the panty and bra set he liked best.
“Why don’t you go get a hot bath started. I am going to go pick out some herbs to mix in. It will help your body heal and feel better.” He kissed her gently and took off at top speed.
After a few minutes he returned with a handful of what looked like weeds and a mixing bowl and grinder. Grey carefully ground the weeds into a paste and mixed them in with the running water.
“Get in.” He told Rey. “Yes, sir,” Rey said with a smile. While Grey was gone, she’d taken the bandage off her shoulder. The bite stood out against her pale skin. There was a lot of bruising. In a couple of places there were stitches, where her flesh had been torn when the Witch Rat had slammed her to the ground after biting her. “What herbs are you using?”
“It’s a secret.” He said with a smile. “Though there are some flowers in there too though.”
“Okay.” She swirled the water around a bit, then lifted her foot to wiggle her toes at him. “So, now what?” she asked with a smile.
His laughter filled the room. “Do you need me to bathe you? Or do you just prefer it.”
“I don’t need you to bathe me.” Rey smiled. “I just remember the first time you did, and how nice it was.” She felt her body responding to the memories and knew her eyes showed how much she loved him.
Without a word Grey began to pour the warm water over her shoulders. Followed with a gentle massaging. His actions were very gentle and carful not to harm her shoulder injury.
She sighed happily and relaxed. When he was almost done, she opened one eye and looked at him with mischief in her eyes. Without warning, she splashed a little water onto his chest. She opened her other eye and an expression of mock dismay covered her face. “Oh dear. Now you’re all wet and dirty. Looks like you need a bath too.”
He returned her smile. “Nice try but I am not that easy.” He said. “You mean you don’t want me to return the favor?” She scooped some of the bubbles off her skin and spread it where she’d splashed him, caressing him with loving fingers. “Give you a nice massage….”
He watched her hands move.”Nope. I’m good.” He smiled down at her.
“Okay.” She relaxed back into the bathtub. She’d hoped that he’d let her bathe him, but there would be other opportunities for getting her hands all over him.
“Well water baby you tell me when you are ready to get out.” He said as he layed down on the floor.
“If you’re not joining me, then I’m done,” she said, and looked down at him curiously.
“What is it you want to know?” He asked as he moved into a sitting position.
“I was just wondering why you laid down on the floor.” Rey stood up and stepped out of the tub. “I haven’t exhausted you already, have I?” she asked with a grin as she reached for a towel.
“Aww. I’m not that old.” he said with a smile. “Though you are relentless when you want something.” He stood and gave her room to dry off. “It is more of an emotional drain. Our territory was under a major threat. We came out on top but a lot of suffering is the result. We will feel the effects of this long term.” He sighed.
“I have grown fond of the extension to our pack. I can see the value and the danger. But sometimes it is nice to have normalcy, no matter how different it is. I know that Ramiel only stayed in Eldon Well for Lyla. He only opened his life to us for her. When he did that the others followed him. One by one a family was born mixed of all us wierdos.” Again he sighed.
“But no matter how much we may want it. In the end they are not pack, therefore do not matter. You are the only human we would fight for as one of our own.” He watched her dry off.
“Ironclaw no longer trusts Ramiel and Michael. Because of what they did. I may not like it but he is alpha and his word law.”
Rey nodded as she hung the damp towel up to dry. She closed the short distance between them, wrapping her arms around him in a simple, comforting hug. “What did Ironclaw say?”
“That they will be watched.” His voice was low. “It means that what we had is not entirely gone, but easily broken now.”
She rested her head against his chest and listened to his heart. “This is one of those times I wish there were such things as do-overs in life. Hit the restart button, or load a saved game.” She relaxed against him.
Grey looked at her puzzeld. “what?”
She gave him a quick, loving kiss on his chin. “When you play games on a computer, you can stop and save them, kind of like putting a bookmark in a book. If your character dies later in the game, or if you mess up real bad, you can go back to the bookmark and continue on from there as if nothing had happened.”
“What lesson do you learn from that?” he asked.
She thought for a moment. “The games aren’t about learning lessons, for the most part. They’re just forms of entertainment. Sure, you can learn things while playing them, but there’s rarely any moral or lesson to be learned.” Rey looked him in the eye. “But they allow you to indulge in “if only’s”. ‘If only I hadn’t opened that door.’ You can go back in the game to a point where you hadn’t opened the door and do something else. You can’t do that in real life. In real life, you make a mistake, and if you survive, you learn from it and move on.”
He laughed. “Okay but you just said you wanted a do over in real life. I just hope that the lesson from this is the right one to learn.”
“Me? No, I don’t want a do over. I’m exactly where I want to be.” She wriggled against him with a playful smile. “What I meant was a do over would be nice for Michael and Ramiel. Michael’s probably going to lose a lot more than the pack’s trust. And Ramiel… I’m afraid that touching the Abyss as he did is only going to cause that darkness inside him to grow.” She looked up him with sadness in her eyes. “Can we talk about or do something else? I’m starting to feel all mopey. Shouldn’t we be celebrating? Even if all this bad stuff has come out of it, we still won. We’re here. The invaders were defeated and run off. This territory is still ours.”
“Do you have any cake then?” Grey asked with hungry eyes.
“Yup,” she replied. “I made a bunch of two-serving cakes just before the attack. They’re in the fridge wrapped up but haven’t been frosted. The frosting’s in the fridge too, but it’ll need to be brought to room temperature before it can be used on the cakes.”
He practically ran to the fridge and grabbed the cakes and icing.
She laughed followed behind him more sedately. “Have you forgotten what my cravings are like this time of the month?” Rey usually baked lots of chocolate cakes and other goodies near the end of her period and the few days afterwards. They helped deal with her incredible cravings for chocolate, and moderated her raging libido.
“Oh,” he said with huge eyes. “They change??” he asked with a smile.
She laughed again, and brushed lightly against him as she took two pint-sized crocks out of the fridge. “I was going to use these preserves as the filling between the layers. This one’s apricot, and this one’s raspberry.”Rey took the lids off the crocks so he could see the contents. “There’s a small carton of heavy cream in the fridge too. I hadn’t quite figured out what I was going to use it for, but it seemed like a good idea at the time to buy it.”
“Well why don’t you lay down on the counter and I will see which one I like the best.”
Rey’s reply was to jump up onto the counter and make herself comfortable.