prompt: Cold Comfort
Word Count: 474
Pairings (if any): not yet
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/RPF etc): …this is a sort of follow-up to All Through the Night (What is RPF?)
Summary: So options – take your chances with the creatures in the forest or the one sharing your camp.
The man who claims to be Michael Derby seems eager to please her for whatever reason. He readily fetches wood for a fire, lighting it with a tinderbox.
He sits on the ground near her, far too close. Well, that’s it then. She moves away as he laughs, loud and boyish.
“Oh, come now. There’s no need for that, Miss Amelia. Are we not friends?”
“We are not. We are two separate parties, you being the one to intrude on mine.”
“Shall I leave then? And take with me my fire and my protection?”
He grins, whistles shortly, and red eyes peer out from the darkened, growling forest. He allows her a moment to look and see that she is well and truly surrounded by them.
“Surely you would prefer my company to theirs, Miss Amelia.”
She turns her eyes to him, showing little of the fear she feels. The firelight plays with the angles of his face, creating odd shadows.
“You’re one of them.”
An accusation, clearly. His smile never falters.
“Perceptive. The question still remains, Miss Amelia, on whether you’d like to spend your journey through these woods with them or me.”
“You may continue to escort me, sir, but only if you give your word of honor to ensure my safety.”
“The lady does me a great honor.”
“Your word, Mr. Derby.”
“I give you my word you’ll not come to harm in these woods so long as you call me Michael. Now…”
He pats the ground next to him, a rogue’s grin on his lips. She is careful not to hasten to his bidding but sits carefully just in arm’s reach. His eyes slide over her tense form. He removes her hood with little ceremony, and his delight at her red, long hair is apparent. He leans toward her, mouth inches from her ear.
“Sleep well, Amelia.”
Then he lies on the ground, stretching languidly and closes his eyes. She considers him with sharp dark eyes and the many, many eyes watching her. She draws her hand out of her basket, leaving the knife inside, and moves to lay a few feet from him. Yet as she does, one of the creatures stalk toward her, its massive form merely a shadow on the edge of the fire’s light. With a frightened gasp, she scrambles back nearly on top of Michael.
The man next to her growls. The shadow backs away, a tail tucked between its legs. Before her heart has fully recovered, she startles again when he pulls her to lay next to him.
“For your protection.”
“I do no –“
“Miss Amelia, do I need to kiss you to make you silent?”
She quiets. The fire crackles. With the young woman held by his side, Michael smirks in his sleep.