Disclaimer: I do not own Red Riding Hood.

As I Watch

I watched Peter dutifully, but out of the corner of my eye. He could not know, nor could anyone, that I was watching him. He was a killer, and I was in love with him.

I don't suppose that he knew I was watching from my spot behind a tree. How I had found him had been a miracle. After my father, the Wolf, had bitten Peter, I almost gave up, thinking I would never see him again.

And yet, there he was. I watched him sit in front of his fire at his make-shift campsite He stared out into space and I hardly dared to breathe, fearing that he would hear me. That was ridiculous, of course, but it was the truth. I wasn't sure what he'd do if he had heard me, but I didn't want to find out. After all, he had made it clear he hadn't wanted me to come because he was afraid to hurt me.

I stepped back away from the tree and decided to come back later. I vowed to stay in the shadows and not-

"Who goes there?" Peter demanded. Shoot. I froze, not breathing. Stupid twig. He was standing, surveying the woods.

I relaxed slightly when he looked away, but then tensed again. His gaze was back towards my hiding spot. I could have sworn he was looking straight at me.

"Someone there?" Peter called again. Did I sense panic in his voice or was it just me? "I know you're there, I can sense you." He was seeing if I would blow my cover. Stupid me fell for it, though.

I stepped out from my hiding spot. His gaze snapped on me and my breath caught. I should have known he wouldn't look any different. After all, Father hadn't. But, it was still a shock, after all this time.

"Valerie?" he asked as though he didn't believe it.

"It's me," I said, my voice cracking.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded. Ah, yes, the questions began now that he knew it was me. "How did you find me?"

"I came because I love you. Being the Wolf doesn't change that fact, Peter. And, your campfire. I thought it was a forest fire, so I came to investigate," I said, shrugging. He nodded slowly.

"So I see," he muttered and ran a nervous hand through his hair. "Why are you even in the woods?"

"Like I said, I was looking for you."

"In the woods?"

"I didn't figure you'd go to a city if you were the Wolf. People would…" I trailed off, not able to say it.

"Because people would kill me?" he asked. I nodded meekly. "You're smart, Valerie, you always have been and I hope you always will be."

"I'm not smart, that was my sister," I muttered.

"You're smart in your own way."

"I guess."

"And I know," he said. We stood there, taking each other in for the first time in years.

He sighed and motioned to the log he'd been sitting on. "Since you found me, would you like to join me?" he asked. I shrugged. What did I have to loose?

"Sure," I said, and sat down. He nodded and sat next to me. "So…" I had to ask it, "when's the next full moon?"

"Not for a few weeks. You're safe," he said, as though he read my thoughts about safety. I let out the breath I hadn't been aware of holding.

"That's good," I said. He shrugged.

"I suppose," he replied and we sat in silence, watching the fire.