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How quickly things seemed to have changed for Ruby Grant. Chicago was an escape from her. An escape from the parents who had evidently planned on restricting her life as much as possible, marrying her off to the first suitor who had shown interest. She had turned him down, moved cities as if to put more distance between them and the idea of marrying a man to become the subservient wife. There was one thing Ruby was confident about, and that was that she would never have been satisfied in such a role. She wanted more freedom, more control over her own life and yet here she was, finding herself in the arms of a man who could so easily become the chains she had been trying to avoid.
However, Daveas seemed different from most. He did not seem to want that for her, for them. There was no commitment yet though, all she wanted right now was to be near him and just see where things could go for them. What she didn’t want was for either of them to feel pressure and make hasty decisions about a future than neither of them could be sure about yet.
Daveas certainly seemed to have a little more respect for women than most and that was obvious in his stance, in his mannerisms, in the way he spoke and treated her with both delicacy [I and] strength. Of course, there was every chance that this could just be his way with women. He could simply feel guilty about what had happened to her and once he was satisfied that she was alright, he might move on to another. However, there was something in the back of her mind that was telling her she would not let him go so easily. If she had to fight for him she would, and that fact alone petrified her.
Looking at him now with that hypnotic smile made her feel a little more relaxed, the nerves from her question seemingly leaving her body as he urged her to lead the way to the bedroom. She kept her hand wrapped around his and started towards the room she had claimed for her own and as she neared it she turned to face him. [b “I must warn you that my room is no where near as impressive as yours, as you might have been able to predict by the humble appearance of my home.”] It was true that Ruby was hardly a materialistic woman. She had never really come from money but even if she had, she figured that she would rather enjoy the experience of life rather than owning the luxuries that it offered, and this had been something she had decided very early on in life. Perhaps she could enjoy life far more now that Daveas was in it; if he stayed in it.
Ruby smiled back at him briefly as she opened the door to her room and as soon as they were inside, he started to prepare himself for bed, removing whatever material was not needed. She caught herself watching him for a moment but forced herself to look away so that she was not simply stood there staring at him. Ruby had caught sight of the bruises and she would question him about them once she was prepared for bed herself. She moved to turn off the light in the room, leaving on the single lamp that had it’s place next to the bed and began to ready herself, removing the dress she had warn when she had been making her way to see him before all of this happened. Ruby left on her under garments as she placed the dress over the chair in the corner of the room.
When Daevas was ready and on her bed, she glanced back up at him upon hearing his voice. His voice and his chuckle had her smiling and when he reached for her she took his hand and lowered herself onto the bed next to him. [b “You’re hurt.”] She said, indicating towards the bruising that had revealed itself upon the removal of his clothes.
[center [font “Garamond” In this moment, his mind was reeling from the past events of their night, of their days, of their little bit of time that they had together. It was less than a few weeks, maybe longer, but his mind was all sorts of twisted and turned. The moment her skin touched his own, he melted, wanted nothing more than just her in his arms. In the past, he was a man who could control his emotions, his attachments, his entire being around a woman. He was very respectful to their wishes, knowing that they were unique beings. Complete and exact opposite of men. Men were simple, stubborn, and with a witty attitude. Women...they were a completely different species. ]]
[center [font “Garamond” Women questioned, thought lines and different aspects before the words were even to cross their lips. Despite some shallowness in certain women, they were each to their own and had their own quirks. The woman, the game changer, standing in front of him thought things out, she was not one that was taken lightly. He had underestimated her the moment his eyes locked on her. He had to admit to himself that the beauty in his mind was taken into a shallow entry, but the more they were together, the more that he had spent time with her, seeing her innocence and determination to be something, it wrapped him around her finger within hours.]]
[center [font “Garamond” And looking at her now, he had a feeling that she didn’t completely know that he was completely and utterly complacent with her. ]]
[center [font “Garamond” Finishing their conversation with the officer and promising her that she was safe in his arms and in his life, she had just smiled. She was still stressed, he could see it in her bunched shoulders and the way that her hands felt in his own as he kissed her knuckles. Her words were cautious, and she was careful when she was to ask him if he were to lay down with her. Innocence made him smile, her charm completely warped him and all he could do was let his lips curve into a smile and he gripped her hand, giving it a light squeeze before he urged her to move forward to her bedroom. ]]
[center [font “Garamond” He had seen her place briefly when they had first come in, but not actually examined everything that she had, materials wise. He wanted to give her more, more things, but he wasn’t sure if she was much of a materilistic girl like he was used to catering to. He was used to women loving being showered in gifts. He had a feeling that she loved more of his time rather than the credit card with his name on it.]]
[center [font “Garamond” He waited until she was leading him into her bedroom before he started to remove his shirt, letting his skin be exposed. Some bruising from having to climb the buildings and hitting random things on the way up were spotted along his hip and shoulders. Removing his socks and shoes, shorts, he remained in his briefs, hoping to make the woman comfortable with him. He knew that she wasn’t asking for sex or anything. She wished for his touch.]]
[center [font “Garamond” He laid down and patted beside him, [b I’ll spoon you darling.] He chuckled and reached for her. It was her choice to say it was too much or have more boundaries than the ones that he had set. This was her terms, her property, her place, and he was not about to cross something that she didn’t want him to. ]]
[center [font “Garamond” He looked forward to feeling her skin against his. And seeing her skin in the light of a single lamp...Dim and beautifully bright. ]]
Ruby was so confused about why Daevas would choose to be with her. From what she had seen, Chicago was full of beautiful women. Women who were perhaps far more used to the lifestyle that he offered. She was not a traditional woman by any means, but Chicago was full of women who moved away from the norm and she had no doubt in her mind that he could have his pick of women if he wanted. Even now as he closed his arms around her and held her against him she was unsure as to why he chose her. Especially since it was obvious to her that he had certainly had his fill of women in the past. Any man with a face like his would have, yet he didn’t seem to throw his experience in her face. Instead, he was able to make her feel as though she was the only woman in the world that had ever mattered to him.
Now, with the heat of his body radiating against hers and his eyes scanning the contours of her face, she felt her own heartbeat start to quicken erratically. It was his words that seemed to bring her heart to its most erratic state. It was clear that he saw her differently to how she saw herself and hearing his words only made the butterflies in her stomach erupt to life. She wanted nothing more than to seal his words with a kiss but instead he was releasing her and while she was disappointed, she could detect that he was simply showing her that she was something more to him that someone to warm his body. Yet, their eyes were still locked together as he continued to speak. She wished that he had kept eye contact when he told her that he would do whatever it took to build her trust. She smiled when he brought his eyes back to her. While he was certainly charming, she had never let a man charm her into making a decision she did not want to make, yet she was more than willing to accept that they needed to be in each other’s lives.
Ruby was sure that he was about to say something else but there was a knock at the door. It startled her at first, but she knew that having Daevas there with her meant that nothing could happen to her and she doubted that if the person at the door wanted to harm them, they wouldn’t have bothered knocking in the first place. She closed her hand tightly around his as he took it and nodded. [b “I will.”] Her eyes glanced to the gun he kept on his person and she swallowed as she forced her eyes back towards the door. She was relieved to see that the person on the other side of it was a cop. That clearly calmed Daevas too because he released his hand from the gun and allowed his arm to return to his side.
She made sure that she had a smile upon her face, and it was easy to do so since they were offering them both protection. Hearing him refer to her as Mr Black’s lady made her blush slightly. Had their intimacy really been that obvious or was it simply the fact that he had gone to such lengths to save her that had tipped them off about their status? It certainly concerned her that some of the men had managed to slip away but she tried not to let herself think about that. Maybe she should have gone back to Daevas’ house, perhaps it would have been safer for them there. When the door shut she did not hide the fear she felt but she nodded when Daevas assured them that they were safe.
Ruby watched him carefully as he kissed her knuckles and she allowed a soft smile to dance upon her lips. She leaned her forehead against his chin and sighed. [b “I know. I know you won’t.”] Ruby pulled back from him then, keeping her hand in his as she allowed her tired eyes to glance over his face. [b “I’m tired.”] She said, followed by a yawn as if to prove that her words were true. [b “Will you…will you lay with me?”] She didn’t know why she felt nervous to ask him since they had already shared a bed, but she was not asking him for sex, she was asking him for comfort and safety which was exactly what she needed now.
The words that she spoke were true. She was a woman, a woman that was a singer, that had had a place in a bar and showcase where hundreds could put their eyes on her. She was beautiful as there were many women who were beautiful in the city of Chicago. Her artistic ability to shape words with her country side accent had been perfectly charming as there are many a charmers who could shape their own tone into their words to give. Her luscious shape, ones with curves that would lead a man on until he was on his knees for her. She was not incorrect to say that she was just someone who he had just met.
[i Why are you so willing to give me the world? To let me in to whatever it is that you have built for yourself? I’m just a singer…I’m just a woman. I have nothing to offer you but myself.]
Oh, how the words were true. They were curious and full of wonder.
He smiled tenderly, his eyes still tracing the shape of her face as his hands touched her skin and his arms encased her, trapping her against him. In this day and age, it was a woman that was being shaped into the man’s desire. But him…his past showed him that women made all the difference. Business world was controlled by men, but were completely bent and even sometimes broken apart for the love of a woman. He was not without intelligence on a woman. He had seen many come along. He had seen many a faces and facades and simple acts and plays. He had been apart of those lives where he was wanted, where he was simply the one to pick up the bill, and even just the arm candy at a gathering.
His breath slowed, his heartbeat was still upbeat, and he let his frantic eyes over her face just slow. [b If you were just a woman…just a singer…with simply nothing to offer, you wouldn’t have survived today. If you were just what you say you are, then you would not have even stepped foot into Chicago with a plan to live here.] He released her slowly, pulling away his face without letting his lips touch her own.
He was reluctant to do so. He was reluctant to feel warmth fade from his fingertips, but she had to know that she was more than just a woman and a singer, and someone who was just there to be beside him in bed. [b It takes courage to make it in a town like this, and it takes courage…] He could never break eye contact with her, but he wanted to make a point that he wasn’t there for just sex and to move on. He wanted more.
[b To be more with someone…] He glanced toward the window, his eyes peeled for any dangers still. He was on edge from the night. [b But, if you are hesitant. Don’t let me fall slowly. I’m not rushing things to say the least. I’ll earn your trust, I’ll build anything you want me to, because I’m dedicated and determined to have what I want. And darling, you are what I want. You are actually what I need. Some hometown charm keeps me grounded.] He smiled at her, coming back to her again.
[b But don’t let me charm you. We need to be rational about this.] He made a smiley but serious face.
He was about to speak again, his body closer to hers as he was about to continue to uplifting sense of their conversation when a knock had come to the door. Daevas immediately went downhill. His shoulders became rigid as he took her hand laced his fingers through them. [b Stay next to me. ] His voice deepened and he looked toward the door. He was hesitant to even move toward the door. He had his free hand reach for the gun that he had tucked in on his backside. He ensured it was still there as he released her hand to reach for the door.
On the other side as he slowly opened it was a cop that had his hands on his security belt. Seeing the officer, Daevas smiled and released the gun, leaving it tucked in as he moved his hand to his side. [b Good evening officer. How can I help you?]
[i I was told to come by this residence to let you know I’ll be watching the house. The captain wanted ensure that Mr. Black and his lady were completely protected and fully notified we are continue to be on the watch. Some of the gentleman that were at the crime scene earlier tonight had ended up slipping away. Unfortunately we have not received any leads, but we will keep you in the loop.]
Daevas nodded his head, glancing past him to look at the officer standing near the vehicle. He was also surveying the area. [b We definitely appreciate it. If I hear anything from my connections, I will be sure to let you know.] The officer tipped his hat. [i Have a good night sir.]
Daevas closed the door slowly and looked back at her. [b I’m sure everything will be okay. With them patrolling and other means of security, I have it handled.] He wasn’t sure how she was going to react to the news of the gentleman getting away, but he wanted to assure her that she was not in any harms way. He pressed his lips together before pressing her knuckles to his lips, giving each one of them a kiss. [b I will not let anyone else hurt you. I promise.] He knew that the words were probably going to be a little shallow at this point since it was still early in the night. But he would be damned to have her get hurt again…If it were the last thing he did he would protect her at all costs.
The woman was something else. He hadn’t felt this strong, but he wasn’t sure how to take it. She looked at him and he melted. The way that she spoke he melted…Everythinga bout her caused him to melt. And why not protect that good feeling? Why not keep that small flame going until the wax were to ever burn out? He was going on a whim, yes, but she was worth it..
Ruby had no idea what awaited her after tonight but she knew that she could not allow him to walk away from her, especially since she felt such a strong connection to him now. Ruby had never believed that she would find herself falling for a man, especially since she had spent so long establishing her independence from her parents and suggesting that she did not need a man to survive in this world. It was uncommon for a woman of her age to still find herself without a husband but this had never been something that had interested her. A man was not going to look after her if she could help it. The difference here was, that she didn’t need Daevas to survive but she [I wanted] him and that scared her more. She looked up at him as his hand realigned her face so that she could no longer avoid looking upon his perfect face. His eyes were hypnotic and once hers were locked with his, she was finding it difficult to pull her gaze away from him.
His words only increased the electricity and intensity between them, especially since he seemed to be affirming that she did not have to change who she was. Most men she met would have told her that she had to change who she was to be with him. Women were expected to adapt and become whatever the men in their lives desired. Men back home would surely tell her that she would no longer be able to sing on the stage. That was for sure. How much would Daevas ask her to give up if she decided to give herself to him completely? She had already given him her virtue but there was still so much more she could surrender to him.
Now it was his smile that had captured her and she couldn’t help but mirror it with her own. Even though she had been scared and hurt, she wasn’t thinking about that now. Instead, she was trying to focus on keeping her heart beat steady. When she was with him it always seemed so erratic to the point that she thought that it might beat right out of her chest. She watched as he pulled her hand up to his lips and within a matter of seconds, he was pulling her into his arms. This is where Ruby felt safe. Now that she was in his arms she knew that nothing could harm her.
Ruby kept her eyes trained on his as he slid his hands around her and for a moment she thought that were going to start swaying but they didn’t. How romantic it would have been for the two of them to simply slip into a dance without music. She kept her hand gripped tightly around his as she listened to him intently. How could someone be so willing to give her the world after only knowing her for such a short space of time? She was sure that her breathing quickened as his lips neared hers. He could steal her heart if he was to close the distance between them but he didn’t offer her what her body craved, at least not yet. She wanted it desperately but she controlled herself.
[b “Why are you so willing to give me the world? To let me in to whatever it is that you have built for yourself? I’m just a singer…I’m just a woman. I have nothing to offer you but myself.”] She kept her eyes locked with his and swallowed hard, sure now that he could hear her heart thumping hard against her chest.
Daevas’s fingers spread over the wound as he was dressing it carefully with the bandages and first aid kit equipment that he had handy. Working while trying to be as delicate as possible, still hearing the sharp intake of air made him quiver just a slight bit. He didn’t want to hurt her anymore than she already was. It was as if she was feeling it all over again in his head from the sharp in take and the way that she was glancing at him. In his peripheral he could see exactly her facial expressions and he could see the look of worry and questioning as they faded over the times that he was speaking to her about not having a true meaning of the words that he was telling Jane.
The man of steel played many a part in the industry and business world. He had to. Many faces came with many enemies, but that didn’t mean that he would be able to let them down know. Some people knew him by one face and other s knew him differently, but he was all the same to her. All in one man for her, he would only give her one face to work with and she could do what she would with that information. Many thought of him as cruel and without too much softness, a slight rough around ht eedges, but he was always, in everything he did, dedicated and motivated to getting things done and preserving through the problems that he was faced with to get them figured out and having a plan in place.
Looking at her now, explaining to her that he had not meant the words, she started to open up about what those facial expressions meant.
And it was a normal and understandable response.
[b I do apologize that it came across as robotic.] He smiled, finishing up the bandages and moving of the aid kit out of the way. He kept his hands busy for a moment as he was restraining himself from wrapping his arms around her and holding her close when she began to explain that she was scared and this was definitely not the world that she was used to in comparison with back home.
He only smiled and shook his head, lifting his hand gingerly against her face. There he touched the edge of her jaw, tracing it until he was under chin and getting her to look up him as he stood above her. [b That part of you will always be there and will always be apart of your charm, baby. Don’t let this world harden you to the point that you lose that. Hold it close to you. Otherwise, the world as you know it…wins.] He stiffened his lips, wanting to kiss her own, but he refrained as she spoke, confirming that she didn’t want him to leave. His lips widened into a smile.
[b And you would be naïve to think that I could ever walk away from you.] He said. He reached for her hand, pulling her knuckles up to his lips and he pressed a kiss to each knuckle before pulling her up against him. He softly wrapped his arm around her waist, pressing his own waist against hers and looked down into her eyes while still holding her hand as if they were about to start dancing.
[b From the moment I saw you on stage, that charm and glow in your eyes. I knew you were meant to be mine. I’ll give you the world if you let me. Hell, we can build our own world if you wanted.] He chuckled slighty. [b There is one thing that is right about me. I am made of steel, but with some tender love and care, I’ll stick through anything, be a strong foundation for whatever you desire.] He brought her knuckles to his lips again and then pulled her hand away and tilted just slightly, just enough to ask for a kiss.
His lips didn’t quite touch just yet, but he wasn’t going to steal them just yet. He could do plenty of that later on. He wanted to hear her words…her voice, feel it on his skin and feel her breathing against him just a little bit longer.
Everything within Ruby wanted to prove that she was strong enough to look after herself but she knew that now was not the time for a show of feminine pride. Anyone would have felt fear and pain after what she had experienced so it was only normal that she felt the desire to be near Daevas. It was not simply because he was a man who could take care of her, but he was the man she had shared herself with and she [I hoped] that meant more to him than he had led the psychotic woman believe. However, any thoughts of her need to show strength evaporated as he neared her to inspect the cut himself. He was likely to have far more experience with dressing such wounds so would be able to offer her more comfort than she could herself. She just hoped that her cut was not deep enough to warrant stitches because she figured that a hospital would be the last place she was taken to receive them.
She was sure that cleaning to wound would be nothing compared to actually receiving it but as the gauze was pressed to her broken skin, she inhaled sharply through her teeth. She closed her eyes in a way that might allow her to hide the pain from the burning sensation that seemed to spread through her like a fire. The thought hadn’t passed Ruby’s mind until now, but she was sure that her new wound would result in a scar and she wondered if that would have an impact on the job she had secured in the club. To have imperfections upon the skin often turned away clients and she remembered how impressed her superior had been with the way she looked upon their first meeting. Now she sported an ugly mark across her collar bone; one that would remain there as a reminder of what Jane was capable of and what Daevas’ world was about.
After a minute of growing used to the burning sensation, she opened her eyes and looked towards Daevas who seemed to keep a calm disposition as he treated and dressed her cut. Her heartrate was beginning to slow down now that she was no longer feeling the sudden rush of adrenaline that came with the pain and she inspected his face for any signs of concern. Luckily, it appeared that her cut would heal of its own accord with a little bit of support. No stitches needed.
There was an intensity in the air that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Perhaps it was merely in anticipation of the answer he might give to her question and after she thanked him for treating her wound, she searched his face for some clue as to what he might say. At first he simply shook his head, leaving the words to formulate in his mind before they would fall between them in an explanation. The slowing heartbeat seemed to quicken once more, taking in his words carefully and looking in his eyes to detect the truth behind them. She would let him finish talking and give herself time to think over what her response would be so that her words were not said in haste. She even remained silent as he inspected his handy work once more and started to put away the materials that he had used in the process.
Her silence needed to come to an end now and the man seemed to press her for an answer with his own question. Ruby wished that she could say that she did not believe him and that it would be best for him to get out of her life. That might have been the only way to keep herself safe. But, the fact of the matter was, she did not [I want] him out of her life. In the short time that they had known each other he had worked his way into her mind and heart and she was not sure that she was strong enough to walk away from him. So instead of doing what she considered to be the sensible thing, she nodded.
[b “I believe you. I believe that you were just trying to keep me safe…to distract her while your men got in place.”] Even saying the words seemed to offer some relief to the anger she had felt towards him and she could almost feel it easing away from her. [b “I…I was so scared. This is not my world Daevas. I had no idea how dangerous things could truly be. I’m just a singer from the countryside and I do not think I can ever go back to being that person again.”] In saying so, she had to truly admit to herself and to him that she needed him now.
[b “I do not want you to leave. I don’t mean tonight. I mean…I don’t want you to leave my life. Too much has happened in such a short space of time for you to just walk away from me now.”]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 While Daevas was slipping away to make the phone call, the woman was getting together medical supplies to help address the wound from the woman that he had apparently evoked to go forward with this. Jane was something else by a whole other life form. There was so much of a hidden background story as there was a reason why that he had pushed her out of his life and couldn’t stand to be next to her, other than the fact that she did inquire and have a husband at the time of their facade and episode. He tried to suppress the anger that had come with the thought of her slicing into the delicate skin of the strong willed woman that was in the room over. He set the phone back into it’s hook and looked backward.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 The woman was removing pieces of clothing that had been stained and glued with blood. He could only imagine the pain and the stinging that she felt. Immediatley his chest tugged and he was wanting to take over, but he wouldn’t do anything that would take away her strength...her power...her will and desire to do something for herself. Too much of that was taken from her tonight and he wasn’t about to remind her again and again. He pressed his lips together and focused on the curve of her shoulder as he came back to be next to her and she answered his question, saying that he would stay with her tonight. He felt relieved at the sound of her voice gratifying his sensation of nervousness to leave her alone. He would keep an eye on her no matter what, but still he wouldn’t have to do it from the seat of his car. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He would at least hold the place of the couch now.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He was messing with the edges of his torn clothing from messing around the roof tops to over look when she asked him to help her address her wounds. He nodded and immediately turned his attention to the woman as she had laid out all of the medical supplies already before she had started getting to messing with the small cut. It was tender and he could tell when she had tilted her head to the side how much it had hurt her. Gathering some gauze, he pressed some chlorohexidine scrub from the packet squeezed it a little bit onto the gauze to ring out the material before he pressed it lightly to her skin. [b This might burn a little bit…] He pressed his lips together, not wanting to hurt her as he lightly rubbed the outside of the broken edges of cells. The rawness of the cut was jagged and uneven as if it were by an unskilled artist. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 And they both knew that Jane was no assassin of torture by any means. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He scrubbed lightly across the wound until he had cleaned up the left over blood and then blotted with a new gauze to get the excess solution from her skin. When he removed the gauze he waved some of the material onto the wound to produce a little bit of a cooling effect to help with the slight burning sensation that she might have been feeling. From there, he examined the edges and can see that it would do without stitches but having butterfly bandages would help mend the edges as they came together.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 Spreading some wound ointment along the cut, he pressed butterfly stitches along the scratch to ensure that there was enough support to keep it held together as well as to keep the wound fresh and without damage and bacterial infections. The ointment had antibiotic that would work as it healed and he was sure that it would help take the pain away as well. Or at least he hoped it would. The cut wasn’t too deep, but it was enough to stain the shirt that she was wearing that night]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 As he was finishing up, he heard her soft words part from her mouth about what he had said to the woman. What he would say to get the woman off their back. He pressed his lips together and shook his head, sure that she was looking at him, gauging his reaction and the way that he presented himself. Words came rough against his lips. [b No ma’am. That was not true. I had to say what I needed to say to get you away from the woman who thought it would be a way to stab me in the chest. She wanted to hurt me by getting to you. But I had worked with her before...She tries to find the penetrable areas in the matters of impenetrable armor. She wanted to find my weakness...and she did. She found you, and she knew it, but I had to steer her away from that. If I would have given in, she would have done way worse, no matter the amount of back up I had already called in to come in after me.]]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 [b Bottom line is darling, no what I said to her was not true. You do mean quite a bit to me. Even in the short period of time that I have known you.] He said, examining her butterfly stitches. They looked fabulous and after years of experience of dressing his own wounds both physically and mentally, he was certain that she would heal hopefully without too much of a scar. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He began to put everything away, hoping that the woman in front of him was believing him. He wasn’t sure what to do with his hands. He wanted to touch her, to hold her, to help her believe him. His eyes lifted to her own as he slowed, knowing that this was a very important moment. Pressing his lips together, he took in a deep breath. [b “Do you believe me? Or do you think it’s just another mark of the steel man trying to get into your heart?] He asked… Knowing that was brought up in the conversation as well...and he knew that was probably imprinted into her brain as much as he didn’t want it to be… ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 There was so much that he didn’t want to be in her head. This thought...the story...the fear and emotion that it brought upon her...and the fear that it was going to give her for a while until she finally gained the strength to be secure within herself, her home, and her relationshiop with him or with anyone if she so decides to…]]]
Ruby stepped inside the door behind him, stroking her arms as if to keep away a chill, even though it was not cold within her home. It was more an act of the mind, one that told her that she did not feel safe. There was not a lot she could have done in his absence, but she was rooted to the spot until Daevas returned to let her know that she was safe within her home. Even now she wondered whether she would ever feel safe again. She had never considered herself to be a woman who would rely upon a man, but it seemed that fate had other plans for her. While she was still angry that she had been put in a dangerous situation, she was beginning to come to terms with the fact that he couldn’t have known what would happen that night. He had saved her, and he would continue to protect her whether she wanted it or not, that much she was sure of.
Soon enough Daevas returned to her side, announcing that no one had invaded her home. She sighed with relief and started to make her way through the living room, eyes scanning the space carefully as though she was making sure he had been right. When she heard his words, she had to take a minute to think about what he was asking her. In honesty, she couldn’t imagine spending the night alone and while she did not say anything straight away, Ruby had already made her decision. Her silence had clearly put her on edge because he lowered himself to a chair and looked towards him.
[b “I need you to stay.”] She said quietly, and it was not until she heard her own voice that she realised how true her words were. Ruby wouldn’t be able to sleep without him nearby. When that was settled he reached for the phone to check on some business that he had taken care of before he had come to find her. Ruby sighed softly and made her way into the kitchen to find something to clean herself up with. The wound on her neck was deep and the blood had dried but she knew that if she didn’t do something soon she might risk infection. She found the medical supplies and made her way back into the living room, not wanting to be alone for too long.
Ruby lowered herself onto the chair and started to peel some of the material away from her shoulder so that she had better access to the wound, but it would be difficult for her to clean it up herself. She glanced up at Daevas who was gazing out of the window, observing a threat that was unknown to them. [b “Would you help me with this?”] She asked, indicating towards the slice on her collar bone. He had already told the police officer that he was going to nurse her himself and a part of her was surprised that he had not already insisted upon helping her with it.
[b “Daevas, what happens now?”] She asked with a curiosity that told him her fear was not just based on the events of the evening, but what might transpire between the two of them. She had thought that their time together would last one night, followed by dinner where she might tell him she was unable to continue with whatever [I this] was based on his line of work. However, there was something binding her to him now and it was not just the fact that he felt responsible the danger she had been in, or that she felt as though she was not safe without him. [b “What you said to her…about the fact that I did not mean anything to you…was that true?”] They were not his exact words of course, but he had alluded to that when he had been speaking to the crazy woman who had threatened her life.
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 Daevas was worried about the woman that was in his presence. From the look in her eyes, to the tear of her skin along her collar bone and all the way around to her emotional state. He was expecting a slap to the face. He was expecting a big scene where she would throw her arms away from him and just do anything from going home with him. He was bearing the burden of all this problems coming into her life, but seeing her now and seeing the weight of the day just bearing on her shoulders, he felt ultimately responsible for everything. He needed to make sure that she knew that he was extremely apologetic for everything that had happened to her. He wouldn’t leave until she knew that he would do everything in her power to make her life stable again.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 The drive was quiet, as he was sure that she was just so tired from the events that she was barely staying awake. He was sure that one of the moments that he looked at her that she was going to be with a head tilted back and passed out, but she wasn’t. Too traumatized to do that. Too scared to close her eyes for the case that someone was going to take her again and was going to hurt her in any way that her mind could come up with. He could only imagine what was going through her head...through her mind after these events. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 They pulled up to the street and her dedicated number of her townhome. He pressed his lips together as he got out of the car, sure to look all around them before he opened up her door and helped her up. He was expecting that she would be wanting him to go away and never see him again and slam the door in his face. Instead, she held on to him until he was standing with her at the door and she slowly unlocked it and peeked in before asking him to make sure it was safe. He nodded without a single word and stepped inside before her and then locked the door securely behind them. [b Stay here.] He motioned as he walked around the area that was her home. He checked every closet, every bathroom and inch of her rooms until he was satisfied. Every peice of her and the woman that she was was right in front him. Simple. Elegant and definitely the woman that he pictured her to be. His dream. He glanced at the picture frames as he walked around while still paying attention to the details of things before he returned to her side. [Everything is safe.] He said quickly.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He let her acclimate back to her life in the house as he walked around the living space, letting her do her thing. [b If you want, I can stay here, on the couch for the night or until you are more comfortable…] He suggested, not wanting to push anything on her, but just to let her know that he was there if she wanted him to be, but even if she were to ask him to leave, he would still watch out for her….]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 His heart was racing. He was on edge as well. He didn’t trust anyone anymore, and he was fairly certain that the woman never trusted anyone and it was definitely apparent now. Clasping his hands together, he sat down with his foot jiggling up and down as he waited for her response. Not out of irritiance but out of anxiousness. He was worried about her, about her well being and he was on edge thinking that someone was going to come around the corner and rip them both apart, but he was paying attention to everything to every little detail that was apart of her life now…]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He reached for her phone for a moment, [b I’m going to call my housekeeper and see how she is doing.] He wasn’t sure if they were back yet from where he had told the to go, but he would call the houseline anyways. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 Dialing the number on the wall, he put the speaker up to his ear and the receiver to his mouth so he could speak if another was able to pick up. As the line began to ring, he heard a small shuff of a voice as the line just continued to ring and ring. They did follow his direction and they were out of town. Good. He was expecting that. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He hung up the phone and walked toward the window to look around. He stayed away from the glass just because of the uneasiness and he wasn’t sure what was being pointed at him….]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He was worried for them both.]]]
Ruby did not have the energy to fight with him, nor did she had the energy to pull her hand away from his grasp so when he reached for hers, she allowed him to take it. It did little to offer her comfort but at least it told her that she was no longer alone with the psycho who would have likely torn every inch of her skin from her body if she felt like it. In hindsight, things could have been a lot worse for her, but she was in no position to think like that yet. All she felt was the fear that had told her she could have so easily lost her life that night and she would have had nothing to show for it. She had barely spent much time in Chicago and she certainly had not understood the dangers of this city…but now she did, all too well.
She heard his apology, but she did not reply. While her current anger was holding him responsible for what had happened, deep down she knew that he would have prevented it if it had been within his power. He did not mean for any harm to come to her, nor could he had predicted what dangers might have presented themselves to her because she had decided to spend the night with him. Ruby could not forget that [I she] had made the decision to go home with him in the first place and she had learned of his business and still made the decision to meet him for dinner that night. If she had been smarter about this, she could have avoided it. At least, that it what she had told herself.
For now, Ruby just assumed that this was all over and that she could go back to the way things had been before.
She had barely noticed the time pass and before she knew it, the car they had been travelling in had pulled up at her place. Her crying had subsided some five minutes into the journey, but her silence remained, even as she looked out of the window to look over her residence. Truth be told, in that moment she did not want to get out of the car. She no longer felt safe and that was not a feeling that she enjoyed. Ruby was also well aware of her friend’s absence as she was now out of town meeting the family of the man she would soon be marrying. A sigh escaped the woman’s lips as she placed her hand on the door, not really wanting to leave the safety of the car, or Daevas’ presence for that matter. Even if she did not want to admit it, having him near her did make her feel safe.
Apparently, she had been staring for quite some time and had not noticed that Daevas had walked around to her side of the car to open the door for her. She looked up at him with hazy eyes and stepped out of the car, nodding to permit him to walk her inside. Whether his company could make up for what happened was yet to be seen but her agreement to his company was mostly so she could feel as though she was able to walk into her home without something bad happening to her. Ruby walked slowly towards her door, sure that Daevas was not too far behind her and she rummaged through her bag to find her keys. Her hands were still shaking so it took her a minute to steady her hand enough to insert the key into the door but when she finally did, she let out a breath she had not realised she had been holding.
Ruby instinctively looked inside as if checking if anyone was there, but she couldn’t find the courage to enter alone. Although she found herself feeling rather ashamed by her request, she turned to Daevas and looked towards him with pleading eyes. [b “Can you…can you check that it’s safe?”] She asked, almost timidly. She hated that this woman had done this to her and she could only hope that it was not something that would last because she was sure that she would not be able to stand appearing so weak in front of him. Daevas would not be attracted to her fragility and even though she was scared and angry, it seemed important that she found some strength within her if he was to become a part of her life…because somehow, she [I knew] that he would be now.
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He was grateful that she did not put up too much more of a fight. She had been through enough that night...those past few days. He pressed his lips together, wrapping his arms loosely around her as he walked her to the vehicle that was pulled up and warmed up to his satisfaction. He unlocked the door and opened it up before securing her on the passenger side before he walked around the front and got into the driver’s side. He was going to let her have her space, as much as he wanted to pull her close to him and keep her close to ensure that she was safe from the harm of the busy and dangerous world they lived in.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 During the drive back to her house, he kept stealing glances, but he was soft with his words. [b I do apologize for what has happened…] He let the words carry, and he reached for her hand, unsure if she would hold the hand of the man that it was because of him that she was in this mess. Daevas Black was a man of business, a steel man of business that lived in a world that if they weren’t taken care of in the first place, shit like this happened. He wouldn’t let it happen again.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 Now all he hoped was that this woman forgive him, and the press wouldn’t be hounding his corporate doors wanting a statement on what had happened that night.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 But he knew they would. Just because some of them didn’t get there until the end, did not mean that they weren’t going to have a cover story there the next morning for all the world to see.. Especially since the woman involved was on a police most wanted list. For the under dogging of drugs and carry outs as well as murder trials, the police wanted her. She had talked her way out of many different trials, slipping bail, moving through the justice system as if she owned it...The police finally caught her red handed to be put in jail, and Daevas Black was back in the clear with the exception there would be stories that he was connected to the underworld of drugs and sex trafficking now that they had caught his girl with the woman who is so dangerously tied to the dark.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He pressed his lips together as he drove, moving through the traffic as he did so easily and smoothly. It wasn’t but 20 minutes before he was pulling up to her curb, based on Mark’s instructions that he had given him before hand. It was another matter he would have to hire better and stronger security. Ones that are not so easily bought. It would be apart of the hiring process to be tempted by a mistress to go against him...It was goingt o be lovely.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 Depending on how that goes, he would see if Ruby could help him with the hiring process, depending on if she is sinterested in staying in his life a little longer. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 Pulling up to her curb, he turned off the car and walked to her side and opened up the door for her. [b Please let me walk you inside and take care of you.] He hoped that she wouldn’t push him away. [b I want to make up for what happened tonight…] His eyes were pleading into hers as he waited for her response. He wanted nothing more than to have her in his arms, the strong woman she was within his grasp.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He knew there was a chance that she could shut the door in his face, that she could slap the side of his face even twice before blinking and saying a word. His stomach was tightening as the seconds ticked by and his face prepared for the slapping as well as his nose with a door slammed against it. It was nothing that he could control, it was in her play, her court as to what she wanted to do for him. ]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He was going to be patient, he was going to let her decide and he would do waht she wished to an extent. If she didn’t let him in, he would have someone he knew in the police department patrol the area extensively. He wouldn’t let her go without protection anywhere, even if she knew it or not...He wouldn’t let anything happen to her again. Even if he had to play a hand in everything from now on even if she didn’t want him to, she would be protected.]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 For such a short period of time, the woman had captured a piece of him that he couldn’t get back. That he didn’t want back. She was something fragile yet durable enough that he knew that she could handle herself. He knew that this woman was like a raw edge to him now, and it was because of him that she had a slice along her collar bone...that her skin and flesh was now exposed. It was because of him that all this shit had happened and she didn’t even mean to do this…]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 All she did was follow instruction to say hello to the gentleman in the back of a dance club that required her assistance and acquaintance….All because she decided to have dinner with a man who had perhaps been charming to her…]]]
[center [font “Garamond” [size12 He was in her debt, and he was going to pay the cost…]]]
To say that she was scared was a huge understatement. She had gone from a quiet town where nothing like this ever happened, to being seduced into a world of sex and danger and she was not sure that she would ever be able to get out of it if she agreed to let him take her home. She was shivering uncontrollably at this point and the jacket that he had pulled over her shoulder was offering her no relief from the chill that swam through her body. It was clear from that point that she was not cold, she was absolutely terrified. Having another woman break her skin with the blade of a knife was so far from what she had expected by the end of the night.
Daevas wanted to take her to dinner and instead, because of his power and influence she had found herself kidnapped and taken to a warehouse. She didn’t want to think about the fact that she might not have made it out of there and even though she was still alive because of Daevas, that didn’t make up for the fact that she was also in this situation because of him. He wasn’t even trying to deny any of his words of tell her that he was sorry for what he had caused. All he seemed to care about was getting her to the car quietly. When the officer looked over them both she wanted so badly to shout; to refuse to go anywhere with Daevas and had a police officer take her home instead but her quaking lips would not let her say anything.
She watched as the officer departed and her eyes began to feel heavy. Daevas came into view now that they were left alone and she glanced up at him, trying so hard not bring her hand up to collide with his face. Not that she had the energy to do so in the first place. There was the apology she had been waiting for but it did not do much to relieve her anger. She was not quite sure if she was more angry with herself than she was with him but she was not about to put her energy into arguing with him now, especially since the shivering at managed to make it down to her knees, making her feel weak.
Ruby looked up at him, weighing up her options. She doubted he would let her go with the officer and never see her again if that is what she chose to do. She looked up at the car and then looked back at him, nodding her head in agreement. She would allow him to take her home so that she could get her wound treated and she would allow herself to get some rest because she was sure that she was minutes from passing out and even though her trust for him was slim, she did not feel like she could trust anyone right now and the thought of being alone scared her just as much.
[b “Take me home.”] She said, her voice coming out in a whisper as she leaned on him so that he could help her to the car. When she was inside she allowed her head to settle on the seat behind her and closed her eyes. Ruby had tried so hard to block out the pain and not to let the tears fall but she had used her last bit of energy walking to the car and she allowed herself to break down. Tears fell freely from her eyes now.
[center [font “Times [size12 Daevas had been waiting for this rush of emotion from the moment that he pulled her from the scene and wrapped his jacket around her shoulders. It was nothing but a matter of time that his own words would catch up to him and this was the moment. Would he had rather it be with someone else? Absol-fucking-lutely. He couldn’t react to her now. This was based on fear and having been hurt because they thought they could get to him through her. Pressing his lips together, he tried not to react back to her emotionally as well. ]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 [b We can discuss this in the car… I just want to make sure you’re home safe…] He said softly, turning away from the chief. Not many knew the softer side of Daevas, just the really rough edges. They knew the sharp jagged sides that could tear them open and leave them bleeding for days.]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 The wind was starting to pick up again. The settled dust began to make its rise again into the air. Daevas wiped his eyes and looked at the concern chief. [i If she doesn’t--] Daevas shook his head. [b I will take care of this, thank you.] The chief nodded and began to walk away. He knew that she wasn’t happy with him in the slightest.]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 [b I am really sorry that this happened...I didn’t know that they would track you down and take you. I thought who was watching you were on my team, but clearly as you see, they were not. I have to be more careful, while they call me a steel man...I clearly have some rusty cracks and bends.] He said, his eyes falling over the curvature of her face. Seeing her high cheekbones and the fullness of her lips. It was beautiful, and all he wanted to do was having his fingertips run over them. She was still mad at him though. He would have to continue working.]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 [b I am not asking you to believe anything I have to say or even really trust me, but please, for the sake of yours and mine, let me take you home. If you choose, as reluctant as a I am, I will leave you be. Let you live on your dreams in this big windy city if you so desire.] He said, glancing at the car that he had them pull around from around the block. It was waiting there, running. The rest of the crews were finishing their arresting, and getting their information that soon they were going to be headed out soon.]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 It was all in her vhoice now and what she wanted to do. Wait for one of the police officers that she doesn’t know take her home or him...despite his steeliness. It was in her decision to do so. And while she thought on her decision, he made sure that his coat was tight around her shoulders. Her cut made him even more worried. The blood that had dried in dribbles along her neck made him shiver. He in no way wanted her to get hurt. That’s why he tried so hard to get here before they could do anything to her...And he failed.]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 Miserably.]]]
[center [font “Times [size12 It was killing him from the inside out and to watch her was not easy just move around with exposed skin...the raw edges… He moved his eyes away from her wound, looking back to her beautiful face as he waited for her response.]]]
Before today, Ruby had never considered herself to be weak. In fact, to be a woman who moved away from home to start a new life in a big city, especially in this era, she had considered herself to be strong. To ignore the doubts of those around her and to be courageous enough to venture into a world unexplored showed a lot more than bravery. Or, at least, she thought it did. Yet she had only been here for a short time and she found herself whimpering at the mercy of another woman. [I She] was the brave one, although she did question the woman’s sanity. This woman did not see the boundaries that many of her sex saw. No, she seemed to want power and not just any kind of power, but autonomy. In a man’s world, to be granted such would relinquish any constraints that might have prevented her in the past.
Ruby was nothing in comparison to her, and now she might find herself leaving this world without ever having achieved anything she set out to accomplish.
The thought passed through her mind as her eyes met with the one holding the blade dripping with her blood. She wished that she had not been filled with fear, that she was strong enough to fight her way out of this. Yet, the sight of her blood on a blade that would find her once more made her sick to her stomach. Perhaps this is what happened to women who tried to step out of their societal role. They become unhinged and desperate for what little power they can cling onto. How a woman could seem to be pleased with herself in such a scenario was beyond Ruby. Even if Ruby [I did] manage to get out of here alive, she was sure that she would never understand the hunger that drove her to this.
Her breath caught in her throat as she tried to force the pain aside and she noticed that she had started to shiver. Jayne had not cut her deep enough to warrant a significant amount of blood loss, nor was the wound life threatening. However, the initial agony coupled with the growing dread of the unknown caused involuntary shudders to rip through Ruby’s body. She did not expect Daevas to come for her but knowing that he was here did not make her feel any better. This man was dangerous too, more so that Jayne was. However, she was confident that Jayne’s kidnap of her was not his motivation for being here. He felt threatened, nothing more. That’s what she kept telling herself, even when the woman started to communicate with Daevas through the speaker system. Whether she believed he would be able to save her life or not, it was clear that her life depending on him.
His voice caused her adrenaline to spike and her eyes found him in an instant. A rush of emotions overcame her, and she couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was she was feeling now. Everything was overwhelming, and she wanted to scream but she wouldn’t give Jayne the satisfaction of knowing that she had got [I under] her skin as well as scarring the surface of it. Ruby found that she could not keep her eyes trained on him for long. Instead, she forced her eyes to the floor, not wanting him to see her distress.
She could tell by their exchange and the sudden desperation in Jayne’s tone that she was not getting the reaction she was hoping for. Ruby did tell her that she meant nothing to the man, just an evening of passion, nothing more and this only confirmed what she had said. It did not even occur to Ruby that he was confident for another reason.
All of this for control over the future.
Ruby looked up from the floor now, watching how the woman placed herself seductively against the man. She wanted more than power and control; she wanted the man who could grant her that. Whether she had him before, she did not know but Ruby was here because of the woman’s desire. It was not just to draw Daevas here, but she was jealous that he had chosen to spend an evening with her. She bit the inside of her lip as she waited for this to play out, the uncertainty still forcing her heart rate into an erratic state.
Then Daveas confirmed with his words that Ruby meant nothing to him. She could not deny that hearing him say such things did not make her feel used. Ruby knew it in her heart but that did not mean that hearing it did not hurt. He was certainly made of steel and she would do well to remember that.
What happened next played out in a blur. Men swarmed the building, removing the weapons that had been trained on Daevas only moments before and although it seemed impossible, her heart beat even faster. The blade stained in her blood fell to the floor, the sound of metal colliding with concrete echoed in her ears, even with the commotion of the raid. When she pulled up eyes away from the metal that had caught her eyes, she noticed that Daevas was nearing her and her face hardened slightly. With her arms free she started to massage at the reddened skin, surprised at how inflamed the skin around her wrists had become.
She looked up at Daevas as he told the chief that he would be taking her home and without a word she shook her head as the chief took his leave.
[b “I’m not going anywhere with you.”] She said, her voice faltering as she shivered once more. Was she cold or scared? She did not know the answer to that but as she rose to her feet she tried to show what little bit of strength she had left. Blood swam from her collarbone to her chest as she breathed in deeply. [b “I do not need the pity of a steel man.”] She said, using his words against him.
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