What The Cat Dragged In Ch. 02bypsyche_b_mused©
For those of you looking for a bit more 'action' of the erotic variety, our two characters will get together in a couple more chapters. For now, sit back and enjoy the beginnings of the plot :)
Kelly woke up slowly. The first thing that filtered through the fog of sleep was that there was no one hitting her, or yelling at her. The next thing that broke through was, she was warm and comfortable. For a few minutes, she was certain that she was still dreaming. The scent was wrong though. In comfortable dreams like this, she was always able to smell the lilacs from the tall bushes that grew outside her window. In those dreams, her father was still alive and her mother had never become a haunted shell of herself.
In this dream, she didn't smell lilacs. Kelly curled up on her side and tried to place what she was smelling. The only thing that came to mind was that the scent was something musky and masculine. It was comforting in a way, unlike the unwashed stink of Roland Dawes. Whatever this comfortable dream was, she knew she was going to have to open her eyes and get back to reality eventually. It was better to do it before something intruded on it anyway. Kelly willed herself to remember this feeling, then she opened her eyes, fully expecting to see the inside of the filthy shack. When she didn't, she had no idea where she was.
Kelly sat up, her heart was pounding as she looked around the room. There was a large fireplace made of tumbled river rock. A leather chair in front of it that looked somehow larger than most ordinary chairs. The couch she was laying on was higher and deeper too. When she glanced over at the breakfast counter, she remembered her futile flight and the large, gruff man who brought her in from the cold and saved her life.
She still wasn't entirely sure why he'd saved her life. He hadn't hurt her, but he had gone out of his way to make her think that he was going to.
Kelly looked around the room. Two of the walls were lined with books from about three feet off the floor to nearly the ceiling. She couldn't see a television in this room, but there was a Bose sound system that worked with an mp3 player. Kelly wondered what kind of music he listened to. She told herself that she wasn't going to find out. Clearly he didn't want her there. Even if she had wanted to stay, it wouldn't be safe for him. The best thing for her to do was get what little clothing she had from Roland's shack and take her chances.
That didn't mean she couldn't show a little gratitude. Whatever his motivations, he had brought her in from the snow. She needed time to figure out how she was going to get back to the shack in her bare feet anyway. While she folded the blanket she said a little prayer that Cody was safe and warm that morning too. She left the neatly folded blanket at one end of the couch, using the reawakening aches to focus her.
Next she looked into fridge. She found two dozen eggs and several pounds of bacon as well the venison from the night before. She found a bowl and a whisk and started scrambling four of the eggs. She had no idea if he would eat that much, and she cursed herself for not paying closer attention to what he ate for dinner the night before. Still, if it was too much, he might let her have what was left.
He'd woken up when he heard her moving around. At first, he just listened, curious what she would do. He'd never brought a frail into the cabin, much less let one wander around loose. Usually by the time he was done with them they weren't capable of much wandering anyway. He heard her wake up and shift on the sofa, then he didn't hear anything. What the fuck was she doing? Just sitting there? That didn't make a damn bit of sense. She should be up and searching around for something to attack him with. This one wasn't exactly predictable though.
He walked closer to the bedroom door, wondering if he was missing something. All that greeted him was silence at first. Then she moved and stifled a groan. A minute later he heard the refrigerator open, then several cupboards. The bitch was making herself right at home.
Wearing only his sweat pants, he opened the door silently and moved into the living room. The blanket was neatly folded and laying at the end of the sofa. She was standing with her back to him, scrambling eggs. He approached her swiftly and silently. Just before he reached her, a wave of fear rolled off of her and she tried to turn. He didn't give her a chance. He planted one hand on either side of her on the counter, trapping her between his body and the cabinet.
He growled softly. "Scare ya, frail?" Creed grinned at the little tremble he felt go through her. If she only knew how good she smelled she'd be fucking terrified.
He pressed his hips forward holding her pinned, letting her feel that his cock was already halfway hard. She bit down on her lip and drew fresh blood. It was almost too much to take, his claws bit into the countertop.
"I thought you might like some breakfast." She was working hard to keep the tremor out of her voice. He was surprised that she mostly succeeded.
He leaned over further, emphasizing the fact that the top of her head came up to the middle of his chest. "How many eggs is that?"
"Four." She was taking deep, slow breaths and gripping the edge of the counter so tightly her knuckles were white.
"Add two more." He wanted to feel her move against him.
She hesitated. "N-now?"
"No, when pigs fucking sprout wings."
The carton was just far enough away that she needed to reach to get it. When she did, he could see that the small movement caused some kind of pain. She covered the wince well enough, but he saw it anyway. He waited until she cracked two more eggs into the bowl. He moved back and leaned against the other counter, giving her some space to work. "Add some hot sauce too."
She looked into the fridge and got out the small bottle. "And get me a beer while you're in there." He noticed that she was protecting her right side, and that the cool air from the fridge hardened her nipples. She handed him the beer, and he watched her shake a little of the hot sauce into the bowl. "More." He said. He opened the beer and took a long drink.
She added a little more, and looked at him.
She obliged, adding sauce slowly until he told her to stop.
"How much bacon do you want?" She asked. She was covering the tremor in her voice better, but she was still deliciously scared.
He held out his hand. "Gimme the package."
Again, a reach into the fridge. Again, he watched her nipples tease the fabric of his shirt. She blushed and hunched her shoulders when she put the package in his hand. He cut through the plastic, pulled out all but three slices, and dropped them in the warming pan.
"Do you like it crisp or-"
"Just keep it moving. I'll tell you when." He watched her separate the slices.
She was starting to calm down. The anxiety was fading from her scent and her posture was starting to relax too. It made the way she favored her right side more obvious.
"Think they're broken?"
"What?" She was surprised by the question.
She shook her head a little. "No."
"You sound pretty fucking sure of that."
A little half shrug. "Unless broken ribs on the right side feel significantly different than broken ribs on the left side, I am sure."
He nodded at the bacon. "That's done."
"It's half raw!"
"It's how I like it. Somethin' wrong with that?" Who the fuck did she think she was? He could have fucking left her in the snow to die. He could've torn her throat out while he used her like a two dollar whore, and he damn sure would have enjoyed every second of that. Instead he was standing in his own kitchen arguing about how he liked his breakfast to be cooked. He growled, half at her, half at himself.
"No." She answered quickly. She took the pan off the heat and searched for a plate. Pissed off as he was, he found himself watching the lines of her body as she moved. "I've just never seen anyone eat it that way before." He was standing in front of the cabinet with the plates. He shifted only slightly, making her lean against him to get what she needed. A crimson blush colored her cheeks, when he looked down at her and grinned hungrily. He smelled the spike in her anxiety again. He moved back just far enough for her to reach a plate without undue pain to her ribs. He watched curiously as she lined it with a paper towel and put the bacon on it. She handed it to him.
"Do you like your eggs any special way?"
"Nope." He was already half finished with the bacon, and he was pretty sure that she was keeping her back to him so she wouldn't have to see him eat it. He watched the way she moved, and the way the wide neck of his shirt slipped from first one shoulder and then the other.
Kelly usually hoped for leftovers, but she found herself hoping that he ate all of that bacon himself. Hungry as she was, there was no way she would ever be able to stomach it. From the sound of it, he was enjoying it though. A little smile touched her lips in spite of the way his intense gaze made her nervous. She was grateful that the eggs were done quickly. She got the plate back again and was relieved to find it was empty. She tossed the paper towel in the trash and handed him the plate full of eggs. It was something she'd done a thousand times, but it seemed nearly impossible to do with him watching her like that.
She turned quickly, her eyes wide with surprise.
"What?" He took another bite.
"Nothing." Kelly was still at a loss for words. "I just.....I'm glad you think so." She put her back to him again and started to clean up.
"You're gonna eat."
Kelly was starting to get used to his gruff announcements. If he had looked more the huggable type she would have hugged him for that one. She turned to look at him again.
He rolled his eyes. "You're gonna finish the bacon and have two eggs. There's nothing to ya."
Kelly's excitement faded quickly. "I shouldn't. If I get used to eating that much-"
He took a step toward her. "You gotta fucking argue about everything?"
She stepped back until the counter stopped her. "No." She put the remaining bacon in the pan and hoped he wouldn't change his mind.
He held his now empty plate out to her. "You bring any clothes with you to Dawes's place?"
"My mother packed a few things for me in a pink backpack." Kelly said.
He grunted. "F'I see it, and if I think of it, I'll bring it back with me." He disappeared for a few minutes and then emerged wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. She hoped he knew where he was going.
"I don't know where Dawes's shack is." Kelly said.
"No! Really?" His voice dripped with sarcasm as he laced up his boots. He got up and advanced on her quickly, backing Kelly into the corner formed by the counter and sink. For a minute, he just stood there, looking down at her. She was sure that he could hear her heart pounding. He traced her unbruised cheek with one claw and leaned in close. "You go snooping around while I'm gone, I'll give you some scars to go along with those bruises. Understand, frail?" His voice was a soft purr that sent a chill down her spine
Kelly nodded a little.
The pressure on her cheek increased. "Lemme hear you say it."
"I understand." Kelly whispered.
He took his hand away and backed off.
"Can you what?" His eyes narrowed.
Kelly had to take a deep breath before she could ask. "Can I read one of your books?"
His expression didn't change, but Kelly saw surprise flicker through his eyes. "Whatever." He walked out without another word.
Kelly managed to keep the bacon from burning while she collected herself.
Creed found the old man's body easily enough, so had some of the other predators he shared his woods with. From the scent and the tracks, it was the pack of wolves that had moved in recently. He walked past the chewed corpse and followed the frail's scent back to a shit hole of a shack. When he bought the land, he'd been told there was an old hunting camp on it. His intention was always to build, so he'd never bothered with it. This structure had sure as hell been around more than a few weeks or months.
The door was still standing wide open from the when old bastard went chasing after the frail. The sour stink of rot and mildew was laced with the frail's fear and anger, as well as the scent of old blood drifted out to him. He knew most of it had to be hers and that pissed him off. He was going to make her bleed. No one else had the right to.
When he got inside, the stench intensified. He found her backpack immediately. It was the only thing in the whole goddamn room that didn't look like it was about to fall apart. It was spattered with blood to. Unless the frail was more of a drinker than she let on, most of the crimson stains came from Dawes.
He smiled a little. "Scrappy frail."
Creed searched the single room quickly, looking for anything that might tell him more about Dawes. He found a few receipts and small book of meditations and essays. He recognized it as something those assholes from the Church of Humanity gave to members. In the back were scribbled facts about the neighboring towns.
His anger was rising. If Dawes was a member, the frail was too. Something else about her that didn't make any fucking sense. Assholes from the CoH were so saturated in contempt that he could smell it a mile away. The frail had been scared, but fear and hate where two different things. He sliced through the cheap nylon of the backpack, and dumped the contents on the rickety table. At first, all he saw was a pile of worn and faded clothes and a pair of cheap canvas sneakers. He sifted through them quickly and book similar to the one Dawes had fell onto the floor, its cracked spine fell open.
Creed was almost too blind with rage to see that the hateful words had been covered over with drawings. It was enough to defuse the rage, at least for the moment. He picked up the small book and flipped slowly through the pages. Castles and dragons covered one page. Flowers and butterflies obscured the text on another. On another page, she'd scribbled out certain words and added others, creating a kind of poem that the original author had sure has hell never intended.
It was all useless shit, but it was better than the hateful shit that had been there before. And it was too fucking perfect. Even if he couldn't see how she or Dawes had set it up, they were going to have a conversation and if she didn't have some damn good answers she was going to end up as carrion too. His anger was back as soon as he lifted his eyes again. He shoved her stuff back into the ruined bag and set it on a stump outside before he tore the place down with his bare hands.
Creed noticed her sweet scent as soon as he opened his door. The state of the kitchen was the other thing that caught his attention. He didn't think she would be stupid enough to leave it in a mess, but he was surprised as hell to find that she had scrubbed it from top to bottom. A little moan drew his eyes to the sofa. She was sleeping again, with his copy of Moby Dick next to her.
She whimpered and squirmed, lost in a painful dream. He watched her turn toward him on her side, one leg emerging from the blanket. The hem of his shirt was tantalizingly high on her thigh. She whimpered again, louder this time.
He guessed Jimmy would have done something to try and comfort her, or some shit like that. He dropped the bag next to her head, waking her with a start and banishing whatever phantom she was fighting with in her dream. It took her a moment to realize how very close she was to showing him more than her thigh. She blushed deeply and rearranged the blanket quickly.
"You found my bag!" She reached for it. He dropped to one knee and grabbed her wrist, hard enough to bruise. He'd expected a pained cry, all he got was a groan through clenched teeth. "What-"
"Forget to tell me something, frail?"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" She started to struggle. Anger and fear rolled off of her in equal proportions. "Let me GO!"
He forced her back into the sofa, hovering over her and holding her body immobile with this. She managed to deliver a hard punch to his solar plexus before he caught her other flailing wrist. He grinned down at her. "F'I didn't have something to ask you, this could be fun."
He eased his grip on her wrists just enough to keep the bones from grinding together, but he bent her arms back over the arm of the sofa. An inch more, and they would break.
"Ohhh, I expected better than that from the CoH."
She stopped struggling long enough to stare coldly into his eyes. "My mother is CoH, I got dragged along because eleven-year-olds don't have many options when their parents behave like jackasses!"
He'd learned early how to read a face for a lies and danger, even before he'd learned to identify the subtle changes in scent that came with those things. Creed knew she was telling the truth, he eased the pressure on her arms. Even though her eyes were still clashing with his, he felt a tremor of relief go through her body.
"Fucking strange for a midlife crisis."
"It wasn't. My father died and she fell apart. Stan swooped in and she fell for all of his crap. He hates me because I didn't and he knew it. He hated Cody because Cody wasn't his and he wasn't man enough to get my mother pregnant."
"Who the fuck is Cody?"
"My brother. He's ten now."
He started at her for a long moment.
"You hit me again, I'll make you wish you were still with Dawes." He got up and let go of her wrists. Because the frail had half a brain in her head, she didn't make a move to attack him. She started to get up. He grasped her arm and sat down again, holding her still. This time, he was more careful with how tightly he held her. "We ain't done. What was Dawes doing here?"
She rubbed the rapidly-developing bruise that circled her forearm. "There's a network of small towns close by, isn't there?"
"Mid-sized city a couple of hours away? The whole area's economy is pretty much in the toilet?"
"He was looking for places to expand into." Creed finished. "And you were supposed to help him with that?" He tightened his grip and let his claws bite into her arm. Not enough to draw blood, but the message was clear.
She winced, but a sarcastic little smile touched her lips, even though she wasn't looking at him. "No. Dawes had all the charisma of a clod of dirt. He was only supposed to kind of check things out. Stan figured he would either beat me into submission or kill me. Either one would have been fine by him, and Stan. I'm sure they would have told my mother and Cody that I had just run off."
His eyes narrowed, even though there was no deception in what she was saying. "You know an awful lot for someone who's not involved."
Another little smile. "We lived in an old house. Stan had no idea what I could hear through the ductwork." She ventured a glance over at him. "Can I get changed now? Please?"
He snorted and let go of her arm. She grabbed the bag and disappeared into the bathroom.
Kelly dressed quickly in one of the faded cotton dresses. She pulled on two pairs of socks, a thermal shirt and a sweater over that. She didn't have a coat, but she would have to worry about that later. The canvas sneakers wouldn't be much good in the snow either, but point was to get the hell away from there, not have a pleasant stroll.
Victor was definitely dangerous, but the longer she was there, the more dangerous she was to him. She folded his shirt and left it on top of the hamper. She remembered seeing some plastic grocery bags under the sink. One of those would do until she could get a needle and thread to fix the tears in her bag. She didn't care that he had gone through it, but he could have at least used the zipper.