Chapter 2


They are following a small path through a forest that will hopefully keep them out of sight and out of trouble. It's raining and one look at the sky above them tells him it won't stop anytime soon. Fuck, he misses the days in Philly when he could pour himself a glass of whiskey after a long day before fucking himself into oblivion and deep, dreamless sleep.

Charlie is walking behind him. She has barely tried to kill him today today and he has barely felt the urge to throw her against a tree and fuck her senseless to shut her up (Miles would kill him but hey, what the hell is new, his brother has never been able to pull that trigger anyway) so as far as he's concerned, it's a good day.

They walk in silence. He knows she's miserable, cold and tired. But she's a Matheson and they will keep on going no matter what, fucking Mini Miles. The reason he knows she's miserable, cold and tired is because she lets him lead while she is way too damn quiet. And she won't believe him, but he hates seeing her like this and all he wants to find right the hell now is a dry and safe place for them to spend the night.

Blanchard has sent them on an another mission to scout one of the last Patriot Camps. He had suggested Charlie would join him to get the job done. He had expected to see the surprise on her face which had been there when Blanchard had asked her to join him, but the whole you are delusional Monroe look on her face he had expected too never came.

He had considered it a good fucking idea because his hunger for revenge and to kill each fucker in Kaki hadn't cooled off and he had immediately realized this had been one hell of a chance to spend some time alone with her. And fuck, now he thinks about it, she had never protested either. A small grin tugs at this lips.

The fact that he was the one who had suggested taking Charlie with him instead of Blanchard is something she doesn't need to know right now. She probably will find out but if that means he gets to see a pissed off Charlie who will be right in his face with her fucking beautiful rage, than it's definitely worth it.

So here they are, again, surviving together and him leading them on the trail while he is thinking of the sway of her hips he knows by heart by now in the fading daylight.

There is more rain. And then there is an abandoned wooden cabin, forgotten by people who once owned it before the blackout had changed their world for good. For them it's safety and warmth at the end of a long day, but a long time ago a cabin meant some good fun, some booze and a fireplace. Which is something she will never understand. And somehow that breaks his damn heart.

They walk inside while he makes sure, he always does when it comes to her, he can't help fucking help himself, he is right behind her, covering her. After they secure the cabin, he gets a fire going and she goes to the small kitchen to see if there is anything they can use. It's what they do.

They eat in silence and in front of the fireplace. Their silence is something he has gotten used to and welcomes after another long day on the road.

Darkness fills the forest and the cabin, but the small fire in the fireplace adds some warmth and light to a cool, grey autumn night.

There is a bed in a small bedroom and a couch in the living area. As a complete gentleman he offers to take the couch so she can take the bed with a wicked grin on his face. He knows she will never accept his offer. She's a Matheson for fuck sake, she is not taking the bed or worse, sharing that bed.

Bass knows she is just like Miles, she'd rather has a miserable night on the small, old worn couch than take him up on his offer.

She rolls her eyes at him and tells him to go to hell with the fierce blue look on her face while she crosses her arms in front of her. His grin gets even wider. Hell, he loves yanking her chain like this. And hell, she is beautiful like this. His dick knows that too. He tells his dick to shut the hell up for now.

'Goodnight Charlotte.' He loves how her name tastes on his lips.

He disappears into the bedroom knowing he has just pissed her off even more. He falls asleep in a dark room, never forgetting he is alone with her in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

He doesn't know what time it is but he does knows she's close the moment she quietly walks into his bedroom. He knows why she is here, he knows about her nightmares, about feeling restless and lost and miserable when the night is too long and lonely. He gets it. He has found it within her without ever telling her from the start. He has tried to ignore it, he knows she has tried to kill it and maybe even him, but it still there.

'Come here.' his voice is barely audible in the darkness of the night but it's there, suddenly breaking the silence. He didn't know he had this inside of him anymore and what happens next is something he never ever in the fuck of ever expected. Because instead of pulling back or walk away from him she he moves deep under the heavy blanket he is holding up for her.

Her warmth close is a slow shock to his system. He swallows thickly. She lets her body melt against his and her body close to his thigh and chest and her hair brushing his scruff means too much to put into words.

They don't talk, there are no words said. It's who they are together. There is no misunderstanding about why she is here. Her head is landing in the crook of his neck, her head against his chest, her body against his while her bare legs brush the strength of his thigh.

He wraps the blanket around her and then he moves his arm around her, hoping she knows he wants to give her a fortress of unbreakable safety. She's strong and soft at the same time, the weight of her body leaning into his and filling his chest with pride and knowing she needs this and came to him.

He holds her while he listens to her breath evening out, his heart a steady beat of knowing she is here and gets to fucking hold her through this night because Charlie fucking Matheson trusts and wants him enough in the middle of a long miserable night to fall asleep in his arms.

When she wakes up, her head is laying against his chest. Her skin is warmth against his. He's already awake.

She looks up, her eyes filled the morning light brushing against her skin and golden curls, adding more depth to the look in her eyes.

'Thank you..' She pauses. He gives her her space while he's almost holding his breath, telling himself to shup up right the hell now because he doesn't want to fuck this up. 'Thank you for not letting me feel weak when I asked for something I need.'

He nods.

He gently moves a lock of hair out of her face. He fucking hopes she understands every single unspoken thing that lies within the gentle movement of his hand.

He swallows thickly while nothing else in his world exists right the hell now but her.

When her eyes stay locked with his eyes he knows things between them have changed. Again.

When they have to leave the cabin and the warmth of their shared bed behind later that morning, Charlie hands him his gun. Fuck, he used to take women out on a date to impress them. But her, not her. They fight, they survive, and her handing him his gun with the trust and ease within her movements is fucking kill him. Who needs a date when he has this. With her.

When she looks up, his eyes are waiting to catch hers. She gives him a small nod, a nod filled with gratitude and other stuff she probably refuses to look at, Mini Miles indeed, but that he sees anyway, because this is Charlotte Matheson and that is how it has been between them from the start. Her eyes are filled with something new that is undeniable while his eyes change and the look in it reach a new intense, his anytime written inside of it.