A/N: Oh good God, I don't even remember the last time I even typed a word for this story. I know it's ridiculously short but they will get longer as I get into the swing of things again.

Disclaimer: Still don't own anything!

Ruthie's not even sure about how much time has passed. All she knows is she's all but frozen where she stands. In the darkness that surrounds her, she finds no exit to the trashed and dingy alleyway she's stumbled upon. In the darkness that surrounds her she can't help but breathe a light sigh of relief, her entire body and all its tension loosening enough for her to release a breath she has no idea she's holding. The minute she allows herself release, it's as though every bone in her body is resettling. Just a few more deep breaths to be sure she isn't just imagining the sudden lightness she feels and she can go home. Maybe she'll even call up Martin for one of their late night chats. God knows an empty house can be entertaining for so long before a person lets themselves go nuts.

The small smile she's allowed herself is overturned by an all-consuming fear, so familiar it's almost strangely comforting. Before she can relish in the twisted comforts of her own body, her small frame is thrown to a wall that she swears wasn't there a few seconds ago. Before a scream can crawl to her lips a hand is over her mouth, fiery eyes with a smile that makes her stomach knot just a few inches down his face.

"You going somewhere, sweetheart? A malicious pout with equally sad eyes forms to his mouth returning the tension she thought she was rid of. Ruthie offers nothing only trying in vain to rip the determined hand from her mouth, if only long enough to let herself scream. She reminds herself to carry it for as long as she can so that maybe she can be heard, maybe she can be saved. She knows she's not far from home. She allows herself the most subtle flame of hope when she realizes that Martin is even closer. "No one can save you, lovely. No matter how loud you scream, how fast you run, no prince charming will come." She knows without looking that the fear in her face is so potent Ruthie can't help thinking that he's only moments from tasting it. Fear may not be edible she realizes, but other things are. As soon as it registers she's fought him off. The standoff lasts long enough for him to take a tearing to the blouse she's worn and a swift shredding of the short skirt she's got on tonight.

Before she can so much as blink, the ice of the night air around her is peeling clear across her once warm skin. Ruthie's become so cold she can feel goose bumps take shape inside her body. The cold is almost welcoming, numbing her long enough to barely notice the blades going through her skin, a trail of crimson red on their heels. It all hurts so much that she's not even sure she can produce a cry loud enough to be heard or even a cry at all at this point. All she is, is frozen. Frozen in place, frozen to the bone, the words locked inside her mouth. Despite her speech impediment there's still a fire of struggle inside. Ruthie Camden was never one to sit down and take a single thing she didn't want and she wasn't about to start with him.

"What was that, sweetheart? You trying to tell me something?" Ruthie could feel her eyes roll as he spoke. How clueless was this guy? Any minute now he'd be brought to the ground, ripped apart limb from limb and then she could run. Give her a minute and she could run as far as her legs could carry her. She'd leave everything she could behind, nothing on her back if it meant escape. Martin would find her, tell her to run. And run she would. A snarl so loud sounded behind her it was all she could do not to jump out of her peppered skin. Ruthie heard nothing more than the monstrous anger but presence was enough. He had come. He always did. Without him having to say a word, she ran. Watching Martin pummel him to the ground, Ruthie made her way to the closest exit. As close as she seemed to get, the more hope surged through her. Suddenly, she stopped cold.

She was circling back, leaving her right from where she had come. All that progress for nothing. Martin was gone and he was back, that vicious gleam in his eyes shining brighter than she ever knew.

"What'd I tell you, princess? No one can save you now…"

All she could do was provide a blood-curdling scream; small body curling into itself so tightly she all but tore through the sheets she laid on. Closing her eyes tightly she could feel familiar rivers make their way down her cheeks. It was all she could do to stop from freezing to death. No one had come. Not for the longest time. And even when they had, evil still won over. Hands on her shaking shoulders only produced a louder scream, splitting to her own ears if she was in the right mind to hear them. Ruthie quickly threw them off sliding into the blankets as far as she could. No one could touch her here.

Just the thought of touch alone made everything ache. If she had enough sense to look she was sure there was a fire set between her legs. She had to get away, far enough away so that nothing could touch her and add to the fire already dancing across her skin.

"Ruth?" Don't touch me. Please don't…It hurts…It all hurts…Just the sound of her name opened her mouth wide enough to shake her tiny frame. "Ruthie, can you come out?" he whispered. The familiar. The words that didn't hurt. The words that had saved her from lying there in the alleyway so close to the end. She could only offer him a violent shake of her head, curls sticking to her tear-stained cheeks as tightly as the ball she'd made of herself. "Please?" The voice came in muffles as she buried herself within the blankets. "Nobody's here, sweetheart. It's just me. "If you can't come up, can I come down?" he asked quietly. Ruthie offered him the most subtle nod, elated that here they would both be safe. Not too long after Martin shuffled down to join her. As soon as she could make him out in the shadows she clung to him, nails digging in so far she almost wished she could trap herself there as close to him as the laws of science allowed.

"Shh…What'd you see?" Ruthie only provided a shake of her head, lips closed tight as she curled in against him. Martin sighed carefully brining the blanket up from over their heads. Almost like a vampire to sunlight she shrunk back that much further, her body one big ice cube as the subtle breeze in the room ran through her. "Do I see a nice warm bath in our future?" he smiled softly. She again declined, nails digging in further with a more solid objection than ever before. "You're freezing," he said softly. If Ruthie wasn't so openly terrified she would roll her eyes at him. As if she didn't already know that, feel it to the tips of her toes. If she moved, he would come. If she so much as blinked, he would find her. He always found her and once he did, there's no telling who he would come after next. She offered Martin wide eyes clawing at him desperately. "Relax," he said gently. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm right here." She shook her head not at all believing him. Martin had no idea what he was made of, no idea what he could do at a single glimpse of vulnerability. He would be back. He always came back. When Ruthie allowed herself a single moment of alleviated joy, he always found a way back in.

"He's coming," she whispered, so quietly that Martin had to strain to hear her.

"Who's coming, baby?" he asked softly.

"…always comes."

A/N: There you go! Questions, comments, leave them below :)