Fifty Shades of Gray Sweaters
"Come on, Renée," Monroe coaxed while snuggling up next to me in his bed. "Let's stay here just a little longer." His bearded chin brushed against my cheek as he held me close to him.
"We haven't been out of this bed since I came over here at seven." I glanced up at one of the many clocks placed around his bedroom. It was almost one in the morning. I smiled and then kissed him. He knew I wasn't complaining.
He rolled on top of me. "Then what's one more hour?" His lips curved into a devilish grin, and his brown eyes flashed red. Oh, I knew exactly what he meant.
"Insatiable!" I exclaimed, and he kissed me again to hush me up.
It had been about a week since I'd shared my secret with Monroe. That I could see what most people couldn't; a whole 'other-world' that included Blutbaden, like Monroe was, Eisbiber, Bauerschwein, and a myriad of other Wesen out there. Well, he kind of found out the hard way when my reveal hadn't gone as planned. Terrible things can happen when wearing red around a Big Bad Wolf, and I'd made the mistake of tempting Monroe's instincts with a bright, red sweater. Actually it had almost gotten me killed, but fortunately he'd been able to control himself.
Once Monroe was aware I knew his true nature, he and I had a new bond, and we'd grown quite close. Extremely close! Even though my red sweater test had been one of the most reckless things I'd done to date, consequently it turned out to be one of the greatest things that had happened to me in a long time.
Monroe's cell phone rang from atop his dark wood headboard, interrupting our kiss. He let out a groan, and I couldn't help but giggle as he rolled back over to retrieve it.
Without even looking at the caller ID he said, "Yes, Nick?" into the receiver. Monroe was silent a moment and then responded flatly, "Yeah, she's here…" He rolled his eyes and turned toward me. "Nick says, 'Hi.'"
Grinning at Monroe's mocking tone, I called out, "Hello, Nick," as Monroe held up his cell phone.
Ever since we'd started doing more than hanging out, Nick had been calling and teasing Monroe like they were in grade school. But I had a sneaking suspicion he was keeping tabs on Monroe, ensuring his Blutbad side remained in check around me. It was in Nick's nature to be concerned about such things.
I wasn't the only one who had the ability to see the other-worldly, Wesen community. Nick Burkhardt was a Grimm, which meant he'd come from a long line of ancestors who could see the 'other-world,' too. He was also a detective for the Portland Police, which gave him an edge as a hunter. Throughout Wesen history, Grimms had eradicated creatures like Monroe. Even the mention of the word, 'Grimm' would cause a shudder in most Wesen. To them they were the monsters and scary stories that were told around campfires. Nick was apparently different than his savage relatives, and Monroe trusted him. Unlike me, Nick had only been able to see these creatures recently, so he was still new to his title.
Although Monroe and countless other Wesen had asked, I wasn't a Grimm. While I didn't know all the details, a Grimm began to see this whole 'other world' once another Grimm in their family died. I'd been able to see Wesen all my life, and there hadn't been any deaths in my family to relate it to. I'd done my fair share of research just to be sure, and the Davenport ancestry turned out to be pretty boring. Dentists and school teachers were a far cry from swashbuckling Wesen hunters. After rooting through every branch of my family tree, I'd come to the conclusion that if we came from a line of Grimms, then it was well hidden. So I didn't know what I was, actually.
Nick didn't know I could see the Wesen world like he could. Until I learned more about the Grimm, I wanted to keep it that way. Monroe had promised to keep my abilities secret, but Nick had questioned Monroe until some of the truth had slipped out. Since Wesen could show a regular human their true nature, Monroe kind of led him to believe that's what had happened with me. So Nick was aware I'd seen Monroe as a Blutbad at least once. After manipulating Monroe to set up a meeting with me, Nick seemed convinced I was just a human who had a lot to learn. He had given me a few mini Grimmology lessons on Wesen, as I feigned surprise, continuing the lie. But Nick was still in the dark about how much I really knew.
Nick and Monroe were friends and partners, for all intents and purposes. They helped maintain order in Portland, Oregon and hunted out the bad eggs of the Wesen world. Monroe landed the job when he was accused of kidnapping a little, red-hooded girl. (He was the Big Bad Wolf, after all.) Of course he'd been a Wieder Blutbad almost ten years and had reformed his life, but Nick hadn't known that at the time.
Since they met four months ago when Nick first gained his abilities, Nick had learned a lot about what he was and this new 'other world' around him, thanks to Monroe. So while Monroe was a clockmaker by day, he moonlighted as a Grimm consultant. He still worked from home most of the time, so it wasn't a bad gig. The 'field work' part, on the other hand, had me worried for his safety.
Once my secret had come out to Monroe, I found out about his secret, heroic life with Nick. It was quite a tale, I had to admit. For someone who'd told me he wasn't much of a do-gooder, he'd been quite a valiant guy. But helping a Grimm came with hazards, and in the short time Monroe had been involved with Nick, he'd already had a few close calls. The Grimm seemed like bad luck, but then again my BFF would probably have said the same thing about me.
My story was a little different. My BFF, Chloe, helped me learn about Wesen when we had met in high school. Unlike Nick, I tried to keep Chloe out of harm's way and not involve her, much to her annoyance. She wanted to know about the crazy things I was doing, mainly so she could stop me. But with her knowledge I'd been able to control my ability, so Wesen were unaware I could see them for what they really were. Those tricks had helped me keep a low profile here in Portland as I started my new life. For once I wanted to be normal, and moving had been the perfect opportunity to start fresh. Back in Louisville, Kentucky I was pretty well-known in the Wesen community, but that was mostly due to my reckless nature. Since I'd moved here a month ago for work, I'd kept my ability hidden from Wesen and humans alike. Well, the exception had been Monroe.
Of all the bars, in all the towns, in all the world, he'd walked into the Blue Moon Bar the same night I'd decided to go there to drink my thoughts away. In between putting my life back together after a bad break-up and relocating here to Portland for work, I had plenty of thoughts that needed purging. It was the classic, boy meets girl, girl has too many Patrón shots, and boy chivalrously escorts drunken girl back to her hotel in his VW to keep her safe from creatures like Ziegevolk.
As fate would have it, we found each other again months later due to my cuckoo clock needing repairs, since it hadn't fared well in the back of my U-Haul during my move. We began hanging out soon after and became flirtatious friends. I fell hard and fast for Monroe, my Sweater Guy, despite the fact that he was one of the most dangerous Wesen out there. My reckless decision with the red sweater had almost showed me how dangerous he really was. Thank goodness he'd turned out to be a hero. Well, a hero with a dark side, but that was okay, because 'everybody's got a dark side,' right?
Monroe sat on the edge of the bed and nodded as he listened to Nick on the phone. I leaned in behind him, humming Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get it On' while rubbing his shoulders in between kissing his neck.
Monroe turned toward me with his eyes half closed and a sexy smile on his face. His eyes widened, clearing his throat. "Uh, what was that?" he asked Nick. "Can you, umm, repeat that last part?" No doubt he wanted me to continue, but I was making it difficult for him to concentrate.
Giving Monroe's shoulders a quick squeeze, I stood and flashed him a seductive grin as I slowly walked into the bathroom, so he could take in the view.
He mouthed 'tease' and went back to talking to Nick. The conversations he had with the Grimm were important to him, so I gave him his space and took a shower.
As I turned on the water, the heat hit my back, and I sighed contentedly. I'd been in bed far too long, and Monroe had given my muscles quite a workout the last few hours. While the hot water relaxed me, my mind wandered off as I lathered up. So much had changed in the last month; new city, new job, and a new guy. All those things seemed normal, but once the supernatural spin was put on it, normal had completely gone out the window.
I'd tried to explain all these other-worldly things to my parents when I was little. Who knew how much money they shelled out for therapy because of it? My mom had been the one who suggested a child psychologist, but my dad thought it was silly to put me through all that and said that I just had a creative mind. Mom had insisted, however, and when I was six I started therapy. The therapists administered all kinds of tests and finally came to the conclusion that I had an overactive imagination. Dad liked to chide Mom that it had cost four figures to say what he'd already told her.
My childhood was like Phoebe Cates in Drop Dead Fred with all the therapists I'd been to, but unfortunately there weren't any pills that took away what I could see. Regardless of their diagnoses, Mom still made appointments to 'cure me' of my visions. Going to therapy all the time hadn't made me very approachable in school. I was pegged as the 'crazy girl who saw things,' and no one wanted to be caught dead talking to me, because crazy was contagious, more so than cooties.
By middle school, Wesen kids around my age were having woges during class. They never admitted to anything, so even though I'd point them out to my teachers, I'd get notes sent home to give to my parents that I'd been 'acting out' again. I'd have to explain these outbursts to my therapist, and I was usually grounded. Not that it mattered much, since I was practically a pariah anyway. I'd just sit in my room, reading stories of fairy tales. They seemed to be the only stories that made sense.
By the last year of middle school, I'd learned to keep to myself and stay quiet about what I could see. But by then I'd already made a name for myself, so while the teachers were pleased I wasn't causing trouble, the other kids still had nothing to do with me. The isolation had made my world a very lonely and depressing one.
During lunch and recess, I would hide out in the library, researching myths and legends. The librarians took pity on me and turned a blind eye. They had heard the 'crazy girl' rumors, too. During the remainder of the school year, I'd finagled a way to become a library aide at the suggestion of one of the librarians, which got me out of a few classes. Those hours were spent trying to understand what I could see, and realizing that the ones who'd had similar accounts were declared as crazy as I was.
When I started high school, I'd planned on four more years of isolation, but then luckily I met Chloe Haas. We had history and orchestra together. Chloe didn't seem to have any problem interacting with humans, whereas most of the Wesen kids typically kept to their own cliques. We would casually talk in class and during lunch. She caught on quickly that something was different about me, since I'd usually bring her a Ziploc baggie of carrots to share during lunch time. One day in the cafeteria she decided to test me. Right in the middle of our conversation she had a woge just inches from my face, and I'd nearly jumped out of my skin.
Instead of being afraid, she winked at my reaction and exclaimed, "So, you do know!" while smiling at me. I definitely wasn't used to that kind of response.
"Huh?" I asked, avoiding eye contact. "I don't know what you mean." At the time I was still young and inexperienced when it came to dealing with Wesen changes so close to me. I'd tried to play it off that I hadn't seen anything, failing miserably.
She beamed that model smile of hers at me. "You saw, don't try to hide it!" She made herself change again for effect and I jumped back a second time, proving her point. "Am I your first Karnickelhöhle?"
"A what?" I asked her.
"A Karnickelhöhle," she repeated. "You know, a Rabbit-like Wesen."
"I… Umm," I stammered out, but she'd been so friendly that it seemed okay to talk about it. "I've seen Rabbits before, but what did you just call yourself?" I questioned, looking into her crystal blue eyes. "I haven't heard those terms before."
"Oh, you have a lot to learn," she mused, still smiling. "Been lazy on the books?"
"Books?" I asked in a hushed tone. "There aren't any books on what I can see."
"Sure there are. Your family ought to have them somewhere."
I stared blankly at her, thinking she was the nuttiest animal I'd ever seen.
Chloe had laughed at my ignorance and continued, "No worries. I've got my own books, and I'll tell you whatever you want to know."
That was how I started hanging out with my soul mate.
Chloe had always loved Wesen history and culture. She had accumulated many records of different types of Wesen that she kept written down in her notebooks. Looking back on it she'd been more of a Grimm in her own right with all the research she'd done. Chloe had many things categorized, and I was in awe as she taught me the true names of all the creatures I'd seen on a daily basis.
Thanks to Chloe, I started keeping my own notebooks of the information I'd obtained, hiding them from my parents under my bed. I'd stopped talking to them about what I could see, which kept me from having to revisit anymore therapists. Thankfully, they thought I'd finally outgrown my visions.
Chloe's parents were mainstreamers and found me quite fascinating. While Chloe had never came right out and asked, her parents questioned if I was some sort of Grimm. They had to explain to me what a Grimm was, of course, but after I'd answered their questions, they seemed puzzled and told me I really didn't fit the typical Grimm profile. Since I'd seen Wesen all my life, they knew I had to be something, but they had no clue what that something might be. Even Wesen hybrids could usually woge, or had a hint of their creature heritage, but I was definitely human by their assessment. Although I had her parents pretty stumped, Chloe was just happy to have me as a friend.
I became a regular guest at the Haas house. Chloe's brothers and sisters were just as accepting of me and my enigmatic background as Chloe, which had been refreshing after having to hide what I was to appear normal. I became incredibly close with her siblings… some more than others. They patiently answered any questions I had and took the time to explain what they knew. It was like being able to breathe for the first time after drowning in a sea of insanity. The Haas' gave me hope that I wasn't crazy, and I was forever grateful.
After spending so much time at Chloe's, my mom and dad insisted that she come over so they could meet her. They were overjoyed that I had a real friend, so Chloe was given a warm welcome to come over anytime. Chloe was particularly fond of my mom's cooking, since her parents didn't believe in refined sugar, or anything they couldn't grow in their back yard. She came over frequently and we would both work on our notebooks together up in my bedroom. My parents never had a clue what she really was. To them she looked like a normal, blonde-haired, blue-eyed teenager. But she was so much more than that, and without her I wouldn't have been able to cope with everything.
High school became easier. Chloe was popular with both Wesen and humans alike, since she was the youngest captain of the cheerleading squad our school had ever had. Once she'd adopted me as her BFF, I became popular by proxy. With Chloe's help, I was introduced to quite a few Wesen classmates. It hadn't been easy for them to understand, but since Chloe trusted me, so did most of them, too.
With my new connections, my Wesen knowledge grew by leaps and bounds. I rattled off German Wesen names like I'd said them all my life. I even took German my sophomore year just to get better acquainted, but the language hadn't clicked as well as French. I still picked up on the German vernacular, and usually I could figure out the gist, which had helped later on with my abilities.
Chloe was super protective of me. I had a bad habit of getting into troublesome situations, and she was always there, trying to talk me out of it. I'd adopted the German word 'woge' to describe my surge of recklessness, because that really was the best way to describe it. Wesen would woge into their creatures, and I'd woge into my recklessness.
In my public life, I was organized to a fault. At work or in mundane things I'd plan details down to the letter. I coordinated meetings, my financial trainings, and even my move to Portland effortlessly. My personal life was different. I'd start out making good choices, but then all of a sudden the surge would hit me, and I'd put myself in harm's way without a second thought. Just like the red sweater test, there was no preparation behind it. I had good intentions, but when it came down to it, I'd just jump out of the airplane without a parachute, so to speak. The woge would take me wherever it wanted me to go.
When I'd decided to move to Portland, Chloe had fits in the beginning, since I was going to be over two-thousand miles away, and she couldn't control my actions. Needless to say, she wasn't too thrilled with my recent choices. While she grudgingly respected my decision, my rabbit friend thought I was nuts for dating a wolf. Blutbaden weren't on her list of acceptable company. Fortunately, Monroe wasn't a typical Blutbad, so Chloe held back most of her protests, (which was difficult for her) and she let me make my own choices. Aside from the red sweater test, my choices had been pretty great.
"Are you okay in there?" Monroe asked through the door. "You didn't drown or anything, did ya?"
"I'm fine," I called out. "Just finishing up." I'd been on a trip down memory lane and had lost track of time. How long had I been in the shower anyway?
Monroe pulled back the green shower curtain, poking his head inside. "Well, you know, you don't have to finish up just yet." He flashed me a sly smile and stepped in the shower with me.
As the water cascaded down his back, he pulled me in close and kissed me deeply. I'd tried to get clean, but Monroe planned on this shower getting quite dirty.
A/N: Hope you like the intro!
Now just because this story is dubbed "Fifty Shades," doesn't mean that it's gonna be like that book, so don't expect it to be. They are very different, I assure you. (; And while there is sex, it's nowhere near as explicit either.
(Sorry to disappoint.)
We've got a total of 60 chapters in this story. Stay tuned...