Hey guys! (I say again, three cheers for head injuries! Wrote this one last night but had a lack of an internet signal till now!)
As always any feedback you have would be amazeballs, and I hope you are still enjoying it!
Blinking her blurry eyes against the bright morning sun, she frowned How the hell did I get home? A bolt of panic went through her like a flash of lightning; I blacked out, I lost control. Making to sit up, she realised her left arm and leg were pinned under a light weight. Looking down, her heart jumped in fright, Belle was lying beside her. It wasn't until she registered the other woman's soft breathing did she release the breath she hadn't realised she had been holding. Examining their position, carefully so as not to wake the other woman, she realised Belle was balled against her chest, and that she had curled her long limbs around the other woman in a protective embrace.
I am in so much trouble. But she couldn't summon the effort to care. Lowering her head back onto the pillow, she closed her eyes with a soft sigh and allowed herself to enjoy the moment.
After a few moments Belle stirred, "Ruby?"
Opening her eyes, she yawned, "Hey." Looking down, she carefully opened her arms to allow Belle to move, "You okay?"
The blue eyes woman seemed troubled, "No... Ruby, no I'm not."
Fear rising again, she sat bolt upright, "Oh God, did I hurt you? What did it do?"
Belle's voice was soft, "Ruby, the wolf didn't hurt me."
That was the thing still puzzling her, "How?"
Shrugging, she replied, "I don't know. But I came too as we were walking up the steps to the hotel. I got off it's back, but as soon as I saw it I... I knew you weren't in control. " Rolling onto her back, but shifting to stay close to the panicking werewolf, she continued, "I was scared; terrified. But..." She ran a hand through her hair, "It took a step back, it left my path open to leave; but as soon as I took a step to leave you could have sworn I'd broken its heart. It whimpered Ruby. This wolf you were afraid of whimpered. I couldn't leave it. But when I came back it took me by the sleeve and lead me up here. I sat down and it jumped up next to me. It was like an affectionate puppy. " She paused, "Can I try something?"
Ruby paused, "What?"
Gently reaching out, she ran her fingers through Ruby's hair. The other taller woman's eyes drifted shut and she unconsciously leant into the contact. Belle sighed, "It's not just the wolf is it?"
Pulling away, Ruby watched the other woman nervously, "Not just the wolf, what?"
"Ruby, look at yourself. Your arm, your neck... hell everywhere; last night you got hurt protecting me; and for some reason I have a feeling it's not the first time you've hurt to keep me safe."
Drawing back further, she asked, "I don't know what you are talking about."
Gripping the other woman's wrist, her tone became almost pleading, "Ruby, don't block me out; please. Last month, you locked me in the library instead of yourself to keep me safe; you ran out to an angry mob. Even in all that chaos, you went out of your way to keep me safe." Belle took a deep breath, "That's not the only other instance. Two days ago."
Ruby's heart hammered, jumping off of the bed, she held out a hand, "Stop. Please stop Belle. Of course I protect you. I'd die to protect you I..." She swallowed the lump in her throat, and blinked hard, "Because you're my friend." Striding over to the door, she hung her head, "I'll get Granny to make some breakfast."
Watching the door close Belle sighed, "Oh Ruby. I know what you did for me."
"Morning Granny!" Ruby tried to sound bright as she entered the kitchen of the hotel. It was still only six am, but the older woman had already been up for hours prepping the pies and lasagne for the diner.
Turning around, her expression was stern, "Ruby, What happened last night?" Seeing the claw marks covering her granddaughter's face, arms and chest, she practically jumped over the kitchen bench to get to her, "How on earth did you get these?!"
Pulling away from her inspection, Ruby looked away, "I had a run in with another wolf."
"Another wolf? But didn't the pack say..."
"Yeah." Her expression darkened, "It seems one chose to ignore that." She sighed, "The wolf was white granny. Do you think... I didn't recognise the scent, but it looked so much like her..."
Granny shook her head, "Your mother is long dead Ruby; and had it been her you would have recognised the scent straight away." Stroking the young woman's hair, she softened her voice, "White fur is not uncommon" She grinned, and bumped her with her hip, "Black however." Returning to her work, she could feel Ruby relaxing, "Thanks Granny."
Realising she had forgotten her original point, she turned half way through chopping carrots, "Oh, and Ruby; why is Belle upstairs."
Cringing, the young woman, began to shrink away, "The wolf brought her home."
Nodding, she pulled up a chair, "Yeah. She was in the woods looking for me, the other wolf went for her; I got there just in time. Hence my pretty face this morning. But she fainted, so I was carrying her home. I tried to go towards Gold's house, but the wolf resisted, and as soon as I took a few steps towards it I blacked out. I just woke up; she's okay. She said it didn't hurt her."
Granny had taken a step back, "Ruby, you know the wolf only..."
"Only knows how to hunt and kill; it is raw instinct. But for some reason, it didn't even show aggression towards her." She shrugged, "Maybe it's because we're friends, it didn't want to hurt her."
Granny could see Ruby was fishing for excuses, "Ruby. My own father bit me, and killed my brothers as the wolf. Your wolf killed Peter." Folding her arms across her chest, she continued, "I know there is something you're not telling me."
Hanging her head, Ruby let out a low whimper, "I know why it didn't hurt her."
Blinking back the tears threatening to flow, she bit back a sob, "The same reason my kiss brought back her memories."
Taking a startled step back, Granny gasped, "She is your true love?"
The now weeping Ruby nodded, "Yes... But Gold..."
Rushing over, she gathered her Granddaughter into a strong embrace, "Oh my girl. My little Red Riding Hood. We'll fix this." Rocking her back and forth, she stroked her hair as Red cried into her neck, "We'll find a way."
"But... We... Can't..." Trying to stop her voice from jumping, she took a deep breath, "Gold said... He'd destroy everything... I held dear... If I told her." Wiping her eyes, she just wanted to curl up into a ball and forget the world, "I gave him my word Granny. There's nothing I can do."
She hadn't meant to spy, but Belle had followed shortly after Ruby to tell her she would get something at home; when she heard it all.
Ruby's head snapped up as she heard the door to the hotel slam. Leaping to her feet, she released a panicked breath, "Belle!"