AN: Fear not, this story's still alive! Not a very big chapter, but I hope you like it!

(Edit 12/06/2016: Not too many changes.)


The Duchess

Chapter 08


Duke Gray Fullbuster was known for being a brave man. He had faced some enemies in his not so long life, he fought and won; very few things actually scared him. But enter in the room that he was now supposed to share with his wife was scaring him more than he ever thought it would.

For the gods' sake! He defeated warriors from Across the Sea, from Beyond the Cold Mountains. He faced warriors that had the advantage; and Gray never even blinked before going to battle.

He was a brave man, an excellent soldier and incredible leader when it came down to war.

So why getting inside the room with his new wife scared him so much?

The Duke was about to turn and go away for the night. He could deal with her later, right? It wasn't unheard of the newly-weds to not share a bed right after when the marriage took place, but of course, most of those marriages were performed in the middle of war for alliances purposes, so the bride and groom didn't exactly have much time together.

And there wasn't a war happening, so Gray needed to rule that excuse out for not entering the room.

He sighed. It wasn't like his wife wasn't pretty. Gray found himself surprised once he saw her, actually. The rumors he had heard convinced him that the reason why the girl never appearing in public was because she was not pretty, but that was wrong info. Gray looked down; it wasn't that what was making him uncomfortable. Actually, he was quite sure that he would very much like it when they tried to make… successors.

Shaking his head slightly, he knew exactly why he didn't want to come in. It was an arranged marriage. Arranged by two old men who were mostly like drunk when made the deal. That woman was a complete stranger to him, and she was the person that he was going to spend the rest of his life with. The only woman in his life from the moment he signed the papers until the day he dies.

Gray raised his head and with determination, entered the room. It was his duty as a Duke to guarantee that the marriage didn't fall into pieces and he was going to do just that.

Once he opened the door, he was surprised to see her standing and even more surprised to learn the length of her hair, long enough to reach her hips. The times he had seen her, she was wearing the curls by the end of it and found it odd, but probably was some kind of Rain thing. The Marchioness – now also Duchess – was wearing a very ugly and large white nightgown – which only left her head and hands showing – and he wanted to laugh at it, but didn't. Gray didn't want to insult her during their first night together.

Her deep blue eyes were showing the fear and uncertainty that she was feeling at that moment and Gray felt bad for her. The look in her eyes resembled a lot the one he always received once a deer he had been hunting acknowledged his position and intentions.

It never ended very well for the deer, he was afraid. But he was going to try to do better by his… wife.

"Hi." Gray greeted his wife and closed the door of his – no, their – room. He saw her blush and he also felt his cheeks become hot. At that very moment there were people toasting because the duke was producing heirs and that bothered Gray; he didn't want everyone to know what he was doing with his wife. He removed the thought of his head and spoke again, more firmly this time. "I know you know this already, but I'm Gray."

She looked confused for a moment, before saying in a tiny voice: "Ju-Juvia." She did a curtsy.

"Nice meeting you." He offered her a smile and stepped forward her, making the blunette step back. Gray immediately stopped once he saw it. "Sorry. Sorry." Of course it was her reaction to retreat: she was terrified.

They stayed in silence and without moving for a few moments, just eyeing each other.

"Hm... What were you doing at the balcony last night?" Gray asked trying to break the ice while he stepped closer to the bed and started removing his coat. He was trying to look unaffected by the situation. "I thought that someone had forbidden you to do these things."

"Ju-Juvia wanted to loo-look around a bit." She stuttered and looked away from where the Duke was.

"I see." He nodded and crossed his arms above his chest. He understood her urge of exploring a new place, he was like that when he first came to Avalanche Castle. "But we shouldn't have met."

"So-sorry." Juvia mumbled and looked down. "Juvia didn't know."

"It's fine." Gray waved her off. "It doesn't matter anymore; we are married and this is an archaic rule anyways." He saw her nod and he sighed. She wasn't very talkative, was she? "So, Juvia... Can I call you Juvia?" The woman nodded. "Before we do anything, let's talk."

He sat on the bed and looked to the space beside him. Juvia noticed that it was his way of telling her to join him. Biting her lower lip, she did what she was asked and sat beside her husband trying to take less space as she could.

Once she was settled, Gray started to talk, looking to the wall in front of them.

"We are married." He stated. "We cannot change that. Today, I promised to take care of you until I die and I don't go back on my word." Gray paused. "So, from today on, you and I are linked forever." He turned to look at her and caught her staring at him. Juvia's expression showed how apprehensive she was; and also, curiosity about what he was talking about. "Forever is a long time. I know a few married couples who hate each other because they were forced to get married, or never tried to get along and I don't want this. If you and I are going to stay at each other's side, I think that I have to know you first and vice-versa."

"And... How exactly do we do that?" She asked.

"Well..." He looked up to the ceiling. "I think that we have to talk, or something." Gray shrugged. "I mean, that's the fastest way of knowing each other, right?"

"Okay." Juvia said. They stayed in silence for some time. "And how about the... uh, wedding night?" She said with emphasis, because she knew that talking was not done much during those nights.

Gray felt his face become hot as he blushed.

"Well..." He cleared his throat. "We will only be doing that when we are comfortable with each other." He looked at her. "I can tell that you are afraid and I don't want to scare you even more. I'd rather wait for some time before doing... it." Gray's eyes went back to the ceiling. "Everything will happen when we think it should happen. We may not have the choice when it came down to this marriage, but we do about how we are going to deal with it." He stopped talking for a moment and stared back at her. "This castle is yours too. You can do whatever you want, as long as you have an escort. We can never be too careful: you are new here and I would feel better if one of my guards had your back for some time. I'll make sure to ask him to stay in a distance that doesn't bother you much."

Juvia was staring at her husband with fascination. Marge made her so scared with her stories about how married life was, while the Duke, one of the most powerful man in the country was trying to comfort and make her feel better.

"Thank you." She said quietly and he smiled, making her blush and her heart started to make crazy movements inside her chest and her stomach started to feel weird again.

"No problem." He said and got up from the bed. "Let's go to sleep, then. Tomorrow morning we can talk more."

Juvia glanced towards the bed and then to Gray. Noticing her insecurity, Gray chuckled and grabbed a pillow.

"Don't worry. You have the bed and I'll get the couch until we agree otherwise." He pointed to the comfy couch across the room.

"Juvia can get the couch. She doesn't mind." The Duchess said, using third person without realize; and even though Gray thought it was strange, he didn't comment on it.

"Of course not." He rolled his eyes. "I know that you think that the couch is not comfortable, but it is. To tell the truth sometimes I just sleep there." And it was true; a few times a week, whenever he had a rough and demanding day, Gray sat on the couch to take his boots off, but ended up sleeping there instead; he was used to it.

Juvia nodded and waited until he put the pillow on the couch before she laid on the big bed again.

He mumbled a 'good night' and she responded it back. Juvia thought that she was going to be afraid of being sleeping in the same room as a total strange alone, but she wasn't. Strangely, when he had told her that they would only take their relationship forward when they were prepared, she believed him. Somehow, inside her heart, she knew he was going to keep his promise, so, when sleep came, she didn't fight it.

She was exhausted. She got married, then had to meet some of the people who worked at Avalanche Castle, and there was the stress over the wedding night, plus the bad night she had before.

And somehow, she felt that a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders, so she let sleep take over her.

Gray sighed happily as soon as his back hit the couch. He had a long, long day. Getting married was stressful, but at least, he and Juvia reached an agreement. They would try to be friends at least and would just take things further when they were ready.

The guys from the council would start pressure him about when they could expect an heir for the Duchy soon, but he would tell them to shove it. He had agreed with that marriage without much fight, so if they started bothering him to impregnate Juvia, he would be incredibly angry.

He closed his eyes and started drifting to sleep. His troubles would still be there when he woke up.


AN: Okay, I take too long to update this. Forgive me. ;;'

So, no hanky panky for Gray and Juvia in their wedding night. Darn it. But, well... Everything in its time, right? I don't think that Gray would have sex with a girl he just met like that. Eventually, it is going to happen, but he wouldn't have the girl if she was afraid, that's why I made them not be together, so he could have a good impression from Juvia.

Anyways, chapter 303: Ovaries = boom! RIGHT?

Enough said, thank you all who reviewed! I'm still without internet in my house and writing to respond all of you will most likely make me explode with anger because the keyboard is awful, so, I'll just thank you all for your support. *-*