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Lurid

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    It was snowing and it was so silent, you could hear the snowflakes falling on the ground. It would be a lovely, peaceful night if there weren’t dead bodies all around the place.  There was a woman among them, standing still. Her hair was red like fire, you could burn your hand if you touch it. Her left eye was as blue as the ocean, it could drown you. Her right eye was as green as rainforests, you could get lost in there. And her skin was as pale as the moon.

   She closed her eyes, took a deep breath. She remembered how it felt like to breathe fresh air and it made her feel so good, she couldn’t stop her smile. Then she looked at her bloody hands. It was not her blood and she knew she had to get rid of those bodies. “Well…” she whispered when she was looking at the corpses with uniforms “…you started it. You could just let me walk away. But still, thank you for getting me out of there.” Then, she snapped her fingers lightly and all of the bodies started burning like hell. Maybe not all of them was dead because she heard some screams but she couldn’t care less. She started walking slowly among the fire, to the high road.

   It was past midnight so there were no cars passing by and she was too tired to walk. Also, the place she wanted to go was far away. She tried to fly but she was out of practice, she fell to the ground after rising just a little. Then, she sat on a rock and started waiting.

   After a couple of hours she sensed a car. It was a few kilometers away and coming to her direction really fast. When the car got in her sight she started to wave her hands and shout to get the driver’s attention. The car slowed down and stopped in front of her. There were two guys in the front and one in the back. The guy on the driver’s seat said something to the other guy and then got out of the car. He looked at her bloody hands, face and clothes. “Are you okay?” he asked worriedly. She said “I have to go somewhere. It is in the North but I don’t remember where exactly but if we go that way I might remember where it is.” and ignored the question.  He got closer to her slowly and asked again “I said, are you okay? You have blood all over your body. Is it yours or somebody else’s? What is your name and what happened? Answer my questions and I’ll take you wherever you want.” His voice was soft but his face was really serious.

   She couldn’t tell him what happened back there but she had no energy to make up some good lies so she just went with first thing came to her mind. She shook her head “I… I don’t know and don’t remember. I  woke up here, just like this. I need to go there and that’s all I know. Help me, please.” 

  The door of the car was opened and the other guy yelled “Gavin! Just take her in! We gotta be fast because he’s about to wake up and you know it won’t be cool if he does that.” Gavin looked her again and pointed the car with his head and then she got in and sat on the backseat with a man who is sleeping and there were handcuffs around his wrists.

   Gavin looked at her on the rearwiev window again but didn’t start the car. The other guy turned around “Hey…” but he didn’t finish his sentence and looked at Gavin “Don’t you think she looks just like Youran? I mean Youran… but with weird hair and eye colours.” Gavin slowly reached out to his pocket “I know Eli, I fucking know.” and everything happened so fast after that. She tried to get out of the car but the door was locked. She suddenly felt something on her neck and her eyes started to close. She was numb and couldn’t fight with whatever  was on her neck.

   Eli handcuffed her and Gavin put a collar around her neck, to prevent her from using her evol. “What was that?” asked Eli. Gavin finally started the car and said “You know who else looks just like Youran? Black Queen. I don’t know who this woman is but she doesn’t seem innocent to me at this point. We’ll deal with her right after we’re done with the other one, at STF.”

   They arrived STF building in an hour. There were only a few people because it was 04.52 am. Gavin carried her to a cell with a bed in it and laid her down. She was sleeping just like Youran, the White Queen, and the sight shattered Gavin’s heart into pieces. Gavin and Youran had been talking rarely since she started dating Victor.  Seeing her in another man’s arms was painful for Gavin but he never stopped looking after her. Gavin caressed the mysterious woman’s cheek gently, he just couldn’t resist, and left the cell.

   In the morning, Gavin informed Leto about the woman. He expected Leto to be shocked but instead, he was panicked. He rushed out of his office to the cell and yelled while running there “You dumb fuck! Why did you bring someone you don’t know here!”. Gavin was confused because what he did was the right thing in his opinion. That woman was covered in blood in the middle of nowhere, asking for help . He knew she could be faking it but it didn’t matter, she looked just like Youran and if she had anything to do with that queen thing and Black Swan, it worth a shot.

   It was too late when Leto arrived her cell with some guards. The cell’s door was melted and the guard was knocked out. “Find her!” he yelled “Don’t let her get out of here! I don’t care if she’s dead or alive!” The alarm started ringing and everyone in the STF building were looking for her. It was a big mess, really.

  Gavin tried to sense her by using his evol but it didn’t work. He was about to join the others’ search when he felt a cold hand on his shoulder. It was the woman.  Gavin attempted to push her to the wall but failed. She was unexpectedly strong and didn’t even blink when Gavin threw his fist at her.

   “I don’t think this is the right way to say hello, Officer Gavin.” she said with a smirk on her face. She got a little closer to him “But, thank you for bringing me here, this is exactly where I want to be. Now, if you excuse me, I am getting the party started. ”. Gavin was frozen, he was not afraid but he didn’t know what to do and that wasn’t much like him. The smilarity between the woman and Youran was affetcting his judgement.

   She stopped and looked back before getting out of the room “I’ll have mercy on you and your friend, since you helped me get here. I didn’t like the handcuff and the collar part, though.”. She rolled her eyes “That’s not my kink. And bold of you to assume that kind of stuff could stop The Red Queen…” her smirk disappeared “…the original queen.”

   There were sparkles on her fingertips and the building started shaking.

Chapter Text

   Gavin tried to run after her but the corridor was already on fire. He was stuck in that room and his  attempts to walk through the fire didn’t work.  He tried to contact Eli or anybody else through the radio but there was no answer. His mind was about to blow. Who was she? What were she doing when they found her on the road? What was her problem with Leto? He never trusted Leto completely because he had a hunch that there was  something shady about the director but he was the director of STF and Gavin had to listen to him no matter what. He was trying and failing to get out of the burning room with all the questions rooming around his head.

   The Red Queen knew exactly where Leto was but wanted to play around a little. She was dreaming  about this very moment ever since she was locked up in that room which was more like a cage for her. They didn’t let her die, but she couldn’t live, either. Her rage, anger, hunger for revenge grew day by day and the time finally had came.

   “Leto, Leto, you little weirdooo! Come out and playyy!” she shouted playfully “You remember me, right? Even if you don’t, it doesn’t matter, to be honest. I’ll be the last face you’ll see, the last thing you’ll remember, one way or another.”. The building was shaking harder with every step she took.

   There were STF agents coming her way but they had no chance against her. She could feel the blood flowing through their veins, the air in their lungs. She wanted to burn them all, or drown them, bury them into the solid ground but deep down she knew that they weren’t responsible for what happened to her. She knew that she should spare their lives, just like Gavin and Eli. Also, she had never wanted to kill Leto, too. She just wanted to make him suffer just like she did. Death would be an easy way out for him. So she fought against her urge to kill. She just threw them to the wall and kept walking.

   Leto was yelling at everyone, giving useless orders. There were flames near him so he knew she was close, too. Did he regret what he done to her? No way. He was still thinking whatever he did was right thing to do but seeing her rage made him scared to his bones because he knew her, he knew what she was capable of. When he was loading his gun, he heard her saying “Stop being a coward and throwing your men at me. You were so confident when I last saw you, so cruel, cold blooded when I was on my knees, begging you to keep your word.”

   Everything stopped when she finished her sentence. The fire died away, the shaking was gone.

   “Zero?”  asked Leto quietly, looked around in confisuon. But hearing that word made her even more angry. She suddenly appeared and ran towards Leto, “Stop calling me by my fucking slave name!”  She hated that name, Zero. It was her agent number for STF, before she was tricked and locked up.

   She had never been a mentally stable person. One single little push and she’d go insane and It was one of those moments. She totally lost control and her mind went blank. There were flames everywhere when Gavin and a few more agents showed up. They were barely breathing because of all the smoke and fire.

   Screams.

   Cries.

   Blood.

   There were nothing else, but suddenly everything stopped again. The fire, the shaking.

   Leto and the Red Queen were gone, too. But this time Gavin could sense where they were. Maybe she wanted to be found, he didn’t know. He told his friends to stay where they were. He brought her here so he was responsible for the mess. He had to fix this on his own, he thought.

   They were outside of the STF building. She threw Leto to the ground and he screamed like hell “Stop! It was your fault and you know that, Zero.” She lifted and threw him again, harder this time and you could hear Leto’s bones breaking “You’re still using that name! You want me to kill you for real?!”. Leto laughed in pain “You’re a freaking monster. I wouldn’t be suprised if you killed me!”. His sassy comeback was irritating to her. She started to threw flames at him this time “You wouldn’t be suprised because you’d be dead, dumbass! If I am a monster now, that’s on you!” Leto cried in pain. His flesh was burning, bones breaking and he was breathing toxic smoke. At that time, he might be regretting some of his actions but he didn’t have time to think about that because The Red Queen kicked his head so hard, he felt like his brain was blowing just before he lost consciousness.

   When Gavin arrived, she was sitting on the ground, sobbing, her face covered with her hands. Gavin felt like Youran was crying in front of him and his heart shattered. She was reminding him of Youran, maybe that was why he was approaching her in a very sensitive way. But still, he knew they were nothing alike inside. Youran would never hurt someone like she did. Youran was so innocent, so kind… He also knew he had to put his thought of one sided love aside for that time.

   Leto was lying there. Gavin couldn’t see if he was dead or alive but he had to do something. He started to walk towards them slowly and said “Are you okay?” to the girl, with a voice so soft that could melt your heart. She put her hands down but didn’t look at Gavin “What do you think? Do I look okay?”.

   Gavin looked at still slightly breathing Leto before sitting beside her. He was alive but seriously injured. Better than being dead, thought Gavin. “Well, I think you had better days.” He said. She laughed but it was the most heartbreaking laughter Gavin heard. “No…” she said “I had no better days than today.”

  They looked at each other’s eyes. Gavin’s sincere look was calming her down. She smiled without noticing but you could still see the hatred, the rage and the sadness  in her eyes.  “Ruby.” she said “My name is Ruby.”

  Gavin pointed at Leto “Well, Ruby will you tell me what’s happening?”

  “It’s a long story.”

   Gavin tilted his head “Well, I have time to listen.”

  Ruby smiled and got up “No, you don’t. You’re mortal, your life span is around 70 years and if we consider your job you’ll probably die in a few years.”. Gavin was confused “Aren’t you a mortal like…me?”. His confusion was entertaining for Ruby “Am I? I don’t know, probably not. I was there when World War II was happening. Do the math.” She touched Leto’s body by her foot “Get up. We have things to do, you sneaky little bitch.” Leto opened his eyes slowly but couldn’t move and that put a smile on Ruby’s face “Wait, you can’t get up. Sorry, my bad. I suddenly forgot how I broke every bone of yours.”

  Ruby glanced at Gavin. He was watching her and probably in shock. She rolled her eyes and cupped his face “I’ll tell you everything, Gabbie. It’s just not the time. You care about STF, right? Evolvers?”. Gavin mumbled a little “Yes.” “Good.” She said “I do, too. That’s one of the reasons why I am here. But first things first, we have to get rid of Leto. Okay? Also, I’m sorry about the building but I’ll fix it. No worries. Trust me. Please?”. She literally puppy eyed Gavin but he didn’t fall for that and removed her hands from his face “I won’t trust you till you tell me what…THE FUCK…IS GOING ON!”. That was too much. Maybe she’s not even an evolver, he thought. He pushed Ruby a little and talked to his radio “It’s agent B7, I need first aid over here, in the backyard. Now!”

  “Oh, you’re not helping him!” Ruby yelled and put her left hand up. The ground was shaking again, harder this time. She started a huge storm using her other hand.

   Gavin was running out of patience  but he knew if he attacked back, she’d be more upset. He took small steps towards her slowly “Look! I know, you’ve been through things and I get it, you have reasons but this is not the solution of your problems!” Ruby didn’t answer him, she just started to bury Leto’s weak and injured body to the ground by using her evol. Leto was screaming in pain and agents were coming their way but they couldn’t get close due to all that chaos.

  “Let me help you!” Gavin shouted “I swear I’ll make things right for you, just let it go!” These words didn’t stop Ruby but they were touching her, it was obvious because things were slowing down. Gavin held her hand and whispered her ear “Let it go. We’ll go inside now, okay? Whatever Leto has done to you, or to STF, he’ll pay for that but not this way. C’mon.”  Then, he hugged her. His hug was so tight yet so soft, so sincere… It was the compassion she had been yearning for years. It was just a small hug, empty promises and probably he was lying just to get through this but Ruby didn’t care. She had not felt anything except anger and sadness for a long time that she thought she was heartless but that time she was full of feelings. She couldn’t hug Gavin back because she literally didn’t know what to do.  She just whispered a little, too hard to hear “I’m sorry.”  Other STF agents rushed to help Leto when Ruby and Gavin were walking in.

.........

  After awhile, they were in a big hall because Ruby was ready to tell them everything but first she apologised for making a huge mess. Then, she explained everything about Leto but only the things concerning STF. She didn’t tell them her personal issues with him. Ruby told them how Leto killed every criminal they caught, how he sold classified informations of STF to other organizations and the other corrupted things he did and everyone listened to her all ears.

  “Well, that’s all you need to know. Look, I care about evolvers. I’ve literally protected them, I mean you, for my whole life and I’ll keep doing that. I have to. Also, a huge chaos is at the door. Black Swan is up to no good, you know that. And we’ll fight against them. We can’t let them do whatever they’re planning to do. We’ll start by fixing the flaws of STF. But not today. Go home and have some rest for now. Tomorrow, we will establish a council to direct this organization. Our actions won’t be determined by one person anymoe.” She said. Ruby thought she was pretty convincing till someone raised his voice from the crowd “How can we believe you? You almost destroyed the building, attacked us, attempted to murder the director?” She heard people agreeing with him.

   Ruby cleared her throat before talking again “I know I didn’t make a good impression. I was just… I was just out of control but I swear it won’t happen again. Also, I can prove everything I’ve said. Just go to the place where Leto says the prisoners are locked. I was there and it was only me. Go see it by yourself  if you still don’t believe me.  Everyone you arrested and you thought you brought to justice, is dead or lost. That’s Leto’s vision of justice and it’s corrupted.”

   “What about the information leaks?” a woman asked.

   Ruby rolled her eyes “Have you ever wondered why some of the suspects you’re investigating get away so easily? Go look at Leto’s personal computer, phone. I’m sure you’ll find some contacts with Black Swan and the other organizations. If you can’t find anything there, check his bank accounts, investments, I swear on my life, he is decieving you.”

   Everybody started to bomb her with questions. She had answers for them all because she was telling the truth but she was under too much pressure and was struggling to keep her calm. It was Gavin who ran for her help, again. For some reasons, Gavin believed in her and wanted his friends to believe her just like he did. He called to the crowd a couple of times and they finally stopped talking. Gavin was their captain but even if he wasn’t their superior, they’d still respect him because he was an honest and reliable man. “We’ll listen to her.” he said with a serious face “Because I know she’s not lying. I know she’s not dangerous like she seems. Also, she’s our only chance against Black Swan, for now. We’re doing as she says, go home, rest. Tomorrow, we’ll establish the council and keep on fighting like we always do.” Ruby thanked him in a low voice, she was not sure if he heard her. Gavin did hear what she said but didn’t look at her. He just left the hall with other agents. He was talking to Eli when was getting out and Ruby watched him till he disappeared.

   In a few hours all the agents left the building. Just a couple of guards left.

   Ruby was too tired and hungry but she wanted to clean the mess she made before having some rest. She heard someone calling for her while she was collecting some debris on the floor. It was Gavin. He was about to go home but couldn’t leave Ruby behind. He knew she nedded help and he himself needed some company, too.  “Gonna spend the night in here?” he asked.

   Ruby got up, fixed her still bloody clothes and smiled “That’s the plan. The cell was pretty comfortable.” Gavin scrtached his neck, he was not sure about the answer he’ll get but he shot his shoot  “No it’s not. You can come to my place, if you want. You know, you can freshen up a little and eat something, have some rest…”

   “I don’t know…” she said “I think I troubled you enough for today. I’ll be okay here, really. See you tomorrow.” She turned her back and took a few steps but Gavin called for her again “Oh, c’mon. You can prepare me some dinner to apologise. My motorcycle’s not here but I’ll take one of the cars in the garage.” He pointed at the exit and Ruby shook her hands, couldn’t hide her big grin “Well, if you insist…”

   It was a silent car ride but the silence was bothering Gavin. He looked at Ruby, she was watching the view with a huge admiration. He had too many questions for her but he was aware it was not the time. Still, he had to break the silence. “What’s your favourite song? I’ll play it.” Ruby turned back to Gavin and put her fingers to her chin, thought for a while and then said “Actually, I don’t have one. I haven’t listened any music for a long time.” shyly. Gavin regretted his question immadietly. He was trying to change the mood but he just made her even more sad. Then, he put a cd in the player, hoping not to screw up this time “Then, this’ll be your favourite song from now on.” Feeling Good by Micheal Buble started to play.

  “Birds flying high, you know how I feel” she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

  “Sun in the sky, you know how I feel”

  “Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel”  the soft wind was caressing her cheeks, her hair.

  “It's a new dawn, It's a new day, It's a new life for me and I'm feeling good…”

   Gavin was right, she really liked the song. It was indeed a new dawn for her, and back then she had no idea what was about to come.

Chapter Text

     Gavin’s home was a spacious, studio apartment with big windows.  “It looks cozy.” Ruby said, sitting on the couch. Gavin just tilted his head a little, pushed a smile and went straight to bathroom because he needed some space to collect his thoughts.  He washed his face and then sat on the floor. He was thinking about what to ask her and how to do that but after literally half an hour, his mind was still a mess.

   He heared a knock on the door “Are you okay, Gabbie?”. He didn’t answer beacuse he didn’t know if he wanted her to be here or not. Of course he wanted to help her but there was something fishy about her, even though he couldn’t put his finger on it.

Ruby knocked on the door again “Hey? I made some sandwiches. They are not the best but at least we won’t starve tonight.” she said with a little laugh. Her smile disappeared when she still didn’t get an answer. She knew he didn’t answer to her on purpose and that broke her heart. She was still feeling guilty about her earlier behaviour in the STF building but she thought Gavin understood her and didn’t judge her right away. Well, she was wrong.

Ruby put her hand on the door but didn’t knock this time “I am sorry if my presence disturbs you but you invited me here, Gavin.” She hid her sadness with a sharp voice. There were no answer, again. She turned back and walked to the door. She wasn’t that patient. “That’s childish. I am going back and the sandwiches are coming with me. You can eat shit. Bye!”

The door of the bathroom was finally opened when Ruby was about to leave the apartment. “Wait.” Gavin called “Your presence doesn’t disturb me. Just…” he didn’t know what was the right thing to say. Ruby rolled her eyes “I don’t have all the time in the world just because I live long.” Gavin cleared his throat “Sorry, I just needed some space and that’s it. Come inside and we’ll talk…” He pointed at the sandwiches “And eat some delicous sandwiches. Also, you can’t walk around in these bloody clothes. Some of Youran’s clothes are still here, I think they’ll fit you.” That last sentence brought some questions to Ruby’s mind and she decided to ask him about it later. She closed the door and sighed “My outfit is the last thing to worry about, Gabbie.” Gavin knitted his brows “And stop calling me Gabbie.” Ruby booped his nose and smiled “Nope!”

Youran’s clothes’ scent was still there and that made Gavin think twice about giving them to Ruby. He remembered the way Youran looked in them, how she played with her t-shirt’s ribbons when she’s emberassed, how her tiny body sways with them, the day she stained her favourite outfit while drinking her favourite soup and wore one of Gavin’s shirts… They all became some distant memories when Gavin lost her to some evil capitalist. He smelled the clothes one last time before giving them to Ruby.

Ruby thanked Gavin and started to undress herself right there. Gavin turned around immediately but her reflection on the mirror, which he couldn’t keep himself from glancing at, was right in front of him. She was taller than Youran and a little muscular. Gavin always thought that Youran was the cutest girl in the world but even though they look the same, Ruby was kinda… hot? He felt his blush on his cheeks and almost ran to the kitchen. He tried to get rid of the sight of Ruby’s body in his mind by drinking some beer “Geez…” he said to himself “It’s not the time for that.” When Ruby was done, he was drinking his second beer.

 They ate their sandwiches in silence and that gave Gavin a little more time to think and finally he broke the silence with his first question “Your name is Ruby because of the colour of your hair?”. Ruby stopped sipping her beer and looked at Gavin with a confused face “You were thinking for ages in silence like a fucking monk and that’s the first question on your mind?”. Gavin leaned back and cleared his throat “No… That was just me trying to change the mood but okay, let’s get to the point. What’s your deal, exactly? I mean, who are you? What happened between you and Leto? How do you know what you know and what the fuck is your evol?” Ruby opened her mouth to say something but he cut her off “And don’t give me that long story crap. I’ll listen whatever you tell me, as long as you’re honest with me.”

Ruby shook her head and started to tell her story.

“I don’t know when I was born exactly, around 1800’s, maybe? But I knew I was different since childhood.  You know, because of these…” she looked her hand “powers.” She stopped for a few seconds and continued “Everything was good, actually. I don’t remember how they were like but I know I had a nice family. I remember picnics, lullabies, warm hugs, laughter…” she was smiling while telling these but her smile disappeared suddenly “That didn’t last long. I remember a tall man with a black suit. I remember him tying my hands and closing my mouth…” her eyes became teary but her voice was not sad, it was full of hatred and anger “After that, all I know is I became a pawn who was used to do some scumbags’ dirty work. They were so satisfied with the soldier, the monster they created and wanted more and that’s when I turned into a lab rat.”

“A lab rat?” Gavin asked. He was touched by the story so far but he tried to keep a serious face.

“A miserable lab rat.” she said. “I don’t know how many years they examined me. The doctors, scienists, nurses kept changing but I was still there. But one day the atmosphere was a little different than the usual. They were celebrating something and I asked what was the reason. Someone said that they finally did it and gave me a slice of strawberry cake. “

“What did they do?

“An evolver. They used my genes to create someone with superpowers. Just like me. I still remember the kid. He had black hair, cute eyes...”

 “What happened to the kid?”

 “Oh, he is fine. I mean he was fine when I last saw him. He must be around 26 years old now. They didn’t keep him there for long. They gave him to a family but I heared they all died in a car accident. His name is Lucien, by the way. Do you know him? If you do…”

 Lucien. Hearing that name boiled Gavin’s blood with fury. He slammed the table, cutting Ruby off  “Lucien?!”

 “Oooh” Ruby said  “You know him. But I can say you’re not a fan of him. He was a gorgeus, kind, clever little boy. I wonder why you hate him this much.” Gavin was trying to calm down, he knew he overreacted “I have my reasons. He works for Black Swan, by the way.”

  Ruby laughed “It’s not much for a suprise. I mean, it was Black Swan that did experiments on me, created Lucien. Anyways. Where were we? Yes, the cake. Fuck, I hate strawberry cake. I ate it, thinking everything was over and I could live a little. But such a fool I was...” she stopped talking but Gavin wanted to hear more.

“What happened after that?”

 “Shit, I need some sleep, Gabbie.”

 “But-“

“I really need some sleep. I’ll tell you more later, I promise but just let me sleep now.”

 Gavin had a couple of questions before their conversation but then they became hundreds. He needed to know more about Lucien, about the creation of evolvers, queens, the chain of events that brings Leto and STF to the story… But he knew she needed some rest. He could see the tiredness on her face and voice. “Okay, but don’t forget you promised me” he said “Take the bed and I’ll sleep on the couch.” Ruby rolled her eyes while cleaning the table “I don’t want your bed. I’ll sleep on the couch and we’re not arguing over this like we’re in a cheesy romantic comedy. But still…” she said, touching Gavin’s chin and laughing “If you’re afraid of sleeping alone, you can sleep in my safe and strong arms, baby boy.” Gavin slapped her hand and made his way to the bed, failing to hide his blush “Stop being cheeky. Also, you’re not my type, to be honest.”

 Gavin couldn’t sleep right away. He watched Ruby’s sleeping face for a while. Moonlight was caressing her cheeks and rosy lips. She looked beautiful but her beauty was full of chagrin. Her words were wandering inside Gavin’s exhausted head. Her story was awful  and even though he hadn’t heared all of it she had every right to be angry, Gavin thought. But the same very reason was preventing him from trusting her completely. She was full of rage and that was why she was unreliable and unpredictable. But on the other hand Gavin felt something in her words, saw some kind of  innocence in her eyes and he decided to hold on to these instincts.

 In the morning, they had a quick breakfast and got out. Ruby walked towards to the car they used the day before but Gavin stopped her “We’ll ride my bike.” She looked around and saw the motorcycle behind Gavin. He put a goofy but proud smile on his face “Meet Sparky.” Ruby bursted into laughter “You named your bike ‘Sparky’?” she catched her breath hardly, wiping the tears on her face “But… why?”. Gavin shoved a helmet to her chest, he didn’t like to be mocked “Yes, because he sparkles.” he said with an angry voice.

They were going fast but Gavin wanted to be faster so he speeded up. Usually when he went this fast, Youran’d be scared and hug him tighter and Gavin liked it but Ruby weren’t doing the same. Instead, she enjoyed that. She even released her arms and Gavin had to stop to prevent her from falling. “What the fuck are you doing?” he shouted at Ruby while she was yelling “Oh my! That was amazing, let’s do it again! Can you go faster?!”

 “No! We’re not going faster!”

  Ruby lifted her brow at him “You’re the one who’s driving, Gabbie. It’s dumb for you to be mad at me.”

  He was caught off guard and jumped back to the bike without giving her an answer “C’mon, you freak.”

  When they hit the road again, Gavin was feeling something different in his chest and couldn’t stop his little soft smile.

Chapter Text

Everyone was there when Gavin and Ruby arrived STF, as they all agreed. The building was still a mess and Ruby was so ashamed because she could hear the agents whispering each other, talking shit about her. That was why her eyes were on her feet while walking. They were saying  many things but one of them said that she was literally a monster and that hit hard. She always had been told she was a cruel, heartless, cold blooded monster –just like Leto said the other day- so she always hated that word but deep down, she knew she was acting like one. She often lied to people but she was not a liar to herself. She was aware that she liked making others suffer, seeing the horror in their eyes,  the warmth of their last breath. But things were changing  because right after almost killing Leto, she expected to be satisfied and full of pleasure, however what she felt was pure regret. When she cried right there, it was her first real cry in a long tüme.
She looked at Gavin’s face, wondering if he could hear what she heared but it was hard to figure out what he was thinking. His eyebrows were knitted and Ruby just wanted to fix them with her fingertips.  Gavin did hear what they said, by the way. He just didn’t want to embrass her but he regretted that in a couple of minutes. He knew he should’ve told them they were wrong, even if he wasn’t so sure about it himself. Still, Ruby deserved a chance and Gavin was going to give it to her.

They entered an empty, white room. There was a big round table in the middle with six chairs and nothing else.  Ruby attempted to ask something to Gavin but she was cut off by Eli, walking in the room with some other people “The Council is ready.” he said. That was unexpected for Ruby because she thought they’d choose the council members together but it was obvious that she was wrong. She faked a laugh “It’s quite funny, you know. I count seven people in this room right now but there are only six chairs around the table. Almost looks like you didn’t count me in.”

Someone said “You’re right, we didn’t count you in, Red.” and the sound of his voice annoyed Gavin up to his spine. The cold and bold voice belonged to someone he hated as much as he envied; Victor Li.

Ruby rolled her eyes “Well, may I ask why, the man in some kind of expensive but ugly ass suit? You need me.”

Victor opened his mouth to talk back but he was cut off by Gavin “Ruby is a member of the council. Establishing a coincil to avoid relying on one person’s words was her idea and it was her who showed us the truth. Also, she knows more than all of us. If there’s no empty space for her, we can rule you out Mr. CEO.” The tension and staring between Gavin and Victor were so sharp that Eli knew he had to do something about it. “Well…” Eli said “Youran is still hesitant about joining the council…” and it was then Ruby realized the White Queen was there.

Ruby eyed at Youran. She looked like a lovely, kind, cute woman, and everything Ruby wasn’t. They were so much alike, still very different. Ruby had never met another Queen till then so she was so excited but tried to keep her cool. However, Ruby wasn’t the only one affected by Youran’s presence. Gavin was avoiding to make eye contact with her but it was too hard for him not to look and get lost in her tender eyes. He was aware Youran’s heart was beating for Victor so he was trying to content himself with just a little room in her heart, mind, or life.

Ruby took a few steps towards the White Queen “Why are you hesitant? Are you afraid?”

She didn’t get an answer from Youran, it was Victor talking “It’s dangerous. I won’t put her in this kind of danger.”

Ruby frowned “I am talking to her, not you. She can give her own answers and you’re not the one who can make her decisions.” She looked at Youran and talked in her sweetest yet determined voice “It’s okay to be afraid but you can’t let your fears get in your way. We have to work together to stop whatever’s coming.” and this tiny pep talk encouraging enough for  the White Queen “I trust you.” she said with a warm smile. Those three words meant so much for Ruby. She was trusted by someone and that felt like a big step in her way to be a good person. On the other hand, Gavin didn’t know what to feel. He was happy because he would see Youran more often but at the same time the same very reason was breaking his heart because he knew he was going to see her with her lover.

In the end of the day the council had seven formal members; The Red Queen, the White Queen, Qavin Bai, Eli Gu, Victor Li, and two more STF agents named Ann Wyl and Meda Andro.

They talked about general stuff such as mission procedures, safety of the informations, where to put the ciriminals, etc. Their first official meeting was quite productive and that gave them hope for the future. They all wanted to make things right and that was what kept them resolved.

When everyone was about to leave after the meeting, Youran called for Gavin and Ruby with a bubbly voice “Hey! You wanna come to my place? You know, we can have some dinner, chat a little… Victor is a great cook!” She had no idea Victor’d poison Gavin’s food and blame it on Ruby.

Gavin had never said no to her. Everything she wished was an order for him but he was planning to make an exception that day. He’d prefer starving or eating garbage rather than touching Victor’s food, even though spending some time with Youran sounded great. Ruby wanted to spend some time with her, too. Also, she wanted to get to know Victor as well because despite being annoying as hell, he looked like a smart and powerful man. But, Ruby had other plans so she smiled gently and said “That’d be super cool but I have things to do tonight. Maybe another time, okay?”. Then, they said goodbye and left the council room.

“So, you have plans?” Gavin asked to Ruby while they were walking towards Sparky “What kind of plans?”. Ruby touched her chin and looked up “Hmm, I don’t know. I can rob a bank, commit murder…”

“What?!” Gavin yelled and Ruby bursted into laughter. He was a tough guy, still, he could be so naive sometimes. “Fuck, calm down, Gabbie. The most illegal thing I can do now is stepping on the grass at the park. But, I need some space tonight. I have things to do and fix. Also, I’ll find a place to live.” Gavin lifted a brow at her “What do you mean you’ll find a place to live? You already have one. I won’t let you be alone and I have reasons for that. First, I know you need company and second, I’m gonna be honest, I’d better keep an eye on you...” he paused for a moment “…you know why.” She knew why and she didn’t like why. However, she had to be left alone that night so she pouted and said “I know but please spare me this night. I swear I’ll be back in no time. You won’t have time to miss me.” She puppy eyed at him and somehow it worked. Gavin got her to the city center and then headed home.

Gavin grabbed some dinner on the way. He didn’t realize he was starving till a huge growl was heared from his stomach and Ruby made some dumb joke about it on the back of his bike. She had made too many dumb jokes in two days and Gavin was annoyed and impressed at the same time. He liked that about her. She was broken but her pieces were still trying to hold on. She was fighting with her demons, he could see that. She probably ate her demons’ hands.

He threw his keys somewhere and jumped on the couch, took out his phone, opened his GPS app. There were two dots. One was located on Youran’s house, of course he was still checking up on her through the ginko bracelet. The other was moving in the city center. “You can’t be too cautious.” he mumbled to himself.

Ruby was walking in hurry. Many things had changed since she saw the city last time but she hoped the bar she was going was still there. He said he’d be there and it’ll be romantic because that bar was where they met. She was on a mission and he was just hanging out with his friends. Drinking some beer, laughing. His lilac hair was completing his punk stlye, amber eyes shining under pale led lights. She suddenly realized she didn’t know what to say to him. She wasn’t even sure about her love for him. She slowed her steps down to think things through.

They never had a normal relationship. They used to fight over dumbest things a lot, break each other’s hearts and pride, also they rarely see each other, mostly because of Ruby’s job. But in the end of the day, it was some good sex, empty apologies and soft laughters. She didn’t even know it was all toxic at the begining.

She was already at the door when she finally decided not to see him again after that day. She was trying to be a better version of herself and he didn’t fit with her new self. He was not a bad guy, no. He was sassy, stuck-up, careless and unpredictable but that was it. Their relationship was the problem.

He was there, just like he said. Sitting on a table on the corner, flipping trough his phone. Unlike Ruby, he didn’t change a bit.

She took a deep breath and touched his shoulder “Shaw.”

Shaw turned back and even though he tried to keep his cool his eyes were giving him away. He missed her miserably and hoped she did, too. He wanted to say something but Ruby cut him off “He put a tracker on me. I need his trust so I’ll act like I didn’t see it. C’mon, we can’t stay here. He might get suspicious of me. Let’s walk around.”

Shaw shook his head but couldn’t keep himself from doing that one thing he missed the most. He missed her rosy, soft lips so he kissed her. Closed his eyes, mumbled a little “I missed you.” to her lips, brushed her hair with his fingertips. It was a rough, passionate kiss, full of yearning and unspoken feelings. When their lips parted, Shaw already knew something was off.

They stayed silent for a few minutes but it felt like a decade for both of them.

 It was Shaw who broke the silence “Well, that was not what I was expecting.”

“What were you expecting, exactly? I am here, just like we talked.” she said.

Shaw clicked his tongue “I am your fucking boyfriend who risked many things to get you out of that shithole. You know, I gave your location to Black Swan. I made them go there. Killing them all wasn’t cool but it was hot, tho. So I expected a little excitement.” His voice was chill but you could sense the sharp reproach. Ruby kept her silence so Shaw started talking again “I saw what you did to STF building. You must gain their trust, not kill ‘em all, dumb ass. Also…” he stopped walking and whispered her ear “spending the night with my brother… not hot, babe.”

Ruby literally froze right there. Gavin was Shaw’s brother? They were nothing alike, not at all, not even a little bit. Shaw didn’t have the softness and warmth Gavin had.

“What?!” she shouted “Gavin? Your brother?!”

“Yeah.” he rolled his eyes “Yeap. I am the cool one and he is lame.”

She sat on a bank, she needed to process the brand new information. Shaw never mentioned about a brother before. She just knew his father who they killed together and that was all she knew about Shaw’s so called family.

Shaw didn’t sit beside Ruby. He put his right foot on the bank and leaned towards her, trailed her jawline with his fingers “What is it? Why are you so shocked?” it was the same calm but tense voice. His fingers stopped on her chin and he made her look at himself, they locked eyes “Hmm? You like him?” Maybe. Maybe not. She didn’t have enough time to think about it.

Ruby tilted her head “Don’t act like the idiot you are. I just didn’t know you had a brother and that’s it.”

He sat beside her this time but didn’t look at her “I know that’s not just it. Something is not right. Something is not right with you.”

She smiled “Yeah, you always think something is always wrong with me.”

“What?! No!”

She got up, cleared her throat, looked directly at his eyes, put on her serious face. She just wanted to end it right there, as soon as possible. “We’re done.” And she just turned around without waiting for an answer but Shaw was not something you can simply get rid of. He crossed her path “Not so fast, sweetcheeks. You can’t break up with me without an explanation, right after I literally saved your cute ass.” he shook his finger “We have a plan and we’re going to follow it.”

“No!” she yelled “You and Lucien have a plan. I just have the power you need but guess what punk boy, you’re not getting it! I won’t betray STF or do your dirty work! I want my free will back and I am getting it! I’m not the same Ruby you used to know!” They felt the ground started to shake. Ruby was the reason, obviously. She stopped herself as soon as she realized the rage growing inside her. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath “I am… trying to change.”

She held his hand and gave him a little kiss on the cheek “Thank you for everything, but it ends now. It has to. I can’t fix my flaws when you’re around.  Also, if you do that thing again with your finger, it’ll be the last time you use your hands.” She pointed herself “See? You bring the worst out of me!”

Shaw loved Ruby. He cherished her for real even though his way of showing love and affection was a little questionable. So, he wouldn’t accept her leaving just like that. He had a trump card he was relying on, thanks to Lucien.

“You wouldn’t follow the plan, even if I said that we have one thing you wanted the most?” he asked playfully.

Ruby thought he was lying but she was still curious “Yeah? What is it?”

Shaw kissed her cheek and then her jawline “Lucien has the cure for you. He was working on it, because I asked him to. I wanted to give it to you as a welcome back gift but…” his final kiss was on the nape of her neck “Here’s the deal. Break up with me if you want, I can’t care less. But the plan is still on the table and once we succeeded, the cure is yours.”

Chapter Text

  Ruby was really old, despite looking like she was in her twenties. Her body had been renovating itself everynight. It was quite painful when she was a kid but she got used to the pain in course of time. Still, never getting old and always healing from fatal injuries were pretty tiring for her soul.

  She knew things could hurt her but they could never kill her, so Ruby didn’t know the value of life. She could take someone’s life just by looking at them and never think about what they left behind. Maybe they had friends, family, children, pets… She didn’t know they might be affected because she never had those kind of things in her life.

  Then, Shaw came into her life. She started to care about him a lot but care turned into an obsession, an addiction in time. She was thinking about him when she was ordered to kill someone. What if one day Shaw dies, too? What will I do if he dies and leave me behind? That was when Ruby realized immortality was a curse, a disease for her. So, she started to look for a cure. She asked for help from dozens of scientists, doctors, even witches secretly. But her her hands were always empty in the end.

  But, when she was locked, she thought about Shaw for a long time and realized the flaws of their relationship, while Shaw was looking for ways to get her out, desperately. And then she was out, but her love for Shaw kept staying  in that room.  At that time, she didn’t know what to do, what to feel when she heared there was a cure. She stopped loving Shaw, so what was the point of the cure anymore? Shaw could die and become just a memory for her, it didn’t matter.

  Shaw snapped his fingers at her “Do you plan to stare at me till morning? I know the view is amazing but I need an answer and remember, you need the cure. I get it, you lost interest in me but think about it. You can love again.” His voice faltered a little in the last sentence and he hoped Ruby didn’t realize that.

  Ruby crossed her arms and raised her brow “Where’s the cure? Also, why Lucien tried to help you all of a sudden? What did you offer him?” Shaw stroked his chin “Hmmm, how can I put it? Well, we can say that things are gonna be a little messy for Youran and Victor.”

  She took a few furious steps towards Shaw “You’re not touching Youran! She trusts me and she won’t get hurt because of me!”. Shaw clicked his tongue “She doesn’t. Even my stupid ass brother doesn’t trust you. They just expect you to ‘change’ yourself. They don’t accept you as who you are!” Ruby opened her mouth to yell at him but Shaw cut her off “Screw that! Screw them! I think there’s nothing to fix about you. You’re not fucking broken! You’re just unique, a little different and that’s it! Also, you have every right to be mad at this freaking world and there’s nothing wrong with wanting some revenge!” he cupped her head and lowered his voice “You’re letting them make you feel horrible about yourself just because you don’t fit in but I’m not gonna let them. Heared me?”

  She thought he might be right and that made her heart ache. There were tears streaming down Ruby’s face and Shaw kissed every drop of tear away till he reached her trembling lips. He left a little kiss on them but it wasn’t enough for him. Shaw missed her, every part of her body and soul. He lost himself in the warm silk of her lips.

  It was late so the park was almost empty but they wouldn’t care even if it wasn’t.

  The kiss deepened when Shaw pressed Ruby to the tree behind the bank they sat. Shaw’s firm chest against her breasts used to felt like home but that feeling was long gone. Still, Ruby tilted her head a little to get a better accces to his mouth. She wanted him, even though things were quite different.

  Shaw pulled back a little to catch his breath. He looked at her swollen lips and smiled, “You missed me, huh?” Ruby clicked her tongue and whispered “No. We’re done, pumpkin.” Then, they changed positions in the blink of an eye and this time Shaw was against the tree and Ruby was caging him.

  Ruby knew exactly where to touch to drive Shaw insane and he let out a loud moan when she sucked his neck, one hand pulling his hair, the other under his shirt, slowly making its way to his trobbing hardness. Shaw hissed “Why so fast?” and licked her neck, kissed her down to her soft breasts after grabbing her from her thighs and lifting her up. “You have all the time in the world, remember?” he said while undoing her buttons. Ruby pulled his hair harder “I stopped wasting my time with you.” Shaw didn’t like the answer he got. He thought he was losing her for real and he wasn’t wrong. Ruby was in his arms but she wasn’t really there. He bit her nipple in response, to show his anger but Ruby enjoyed it. She always liked it rough and she always got what she wanted from him.

  After a few minutes, Ruby was sitting on the back of the ban and Shaw was kissing her lips harder while tilting her skirt up. Her soft moans were music to his ears. He slowly went down and pressed a kiss to her inner thighs, and that made her open her legs wider. He smirked at Ruby and grabbed one of her legs then put it on his shoulder. He said “I don’t think you really want to stop wasting time with me.” while pulling her panties down. He leaned her core and licked a long stripe up her wetness and that made Ruby arch her back and hiss in pleasure.

  She always liked it when he used his evol during sex and Shaw knew where and how to use it. He started to eat her up slowly. His tongue was sending electricity to her clit while circling it and Ruby was pressing his head harder everytime. He was humming and she was running out of patience when he inserted and curled one finger, then two and three.

  “Fuck- I said…” she pulled his head back and they made eye contact “I said… I don’t have time…”

  He smiled after giving her one last lick and circle and then he got up, wiped his lips with the back of his hand “Alright, then.”

  Shaw unbuckled his belt. He stroked his lenght a few times before putting it against her pussy, sliding up and down. She moaned “Gavin…” and that was the last thing Shaw wanted to hear “What the fuck?!” he shouted and pulled himself back.

  Ruby rolled her eyes “Ugh, stop being dumb, Shaw! Gavin is coming this way with Eli! Hurry up!”

  He buried his head to the column of her neck and started thrusting. Each thrust was getting rougher by his fear of losing her but it was obvious he already did. So, Shaw wanted this moment to last longer. He wanted his brother to go back. To hell, if possible. He growled, and a lightning flashed.

  Gavin saw the lightning and his steps got faster because lightning bolts always meant one specific person’s presence and Gavin didn’t like the idea and the possibilty of him being with Ruby at that moment. He tried to sense her with his evol but he failed. Fortunately, GPS was still working. He knew her exact location even if he didn’t know if she was alone or not.

  Their foreheads were pressing as they slowly descended from their high. “He’s here. Go.” Ruby murmured. Shaw whispered to her lips, before giving her a final kiss  “I’ll win you back.”

  “What did you say?” she asked while smoothing and fixing her clothes. “I said…” he put her hair behind her ear “Make up your mind about the cure and the plan, as soon as possible. We’ll be waiting. Don’t forget that we’ll do it one way or another, with or without you.” and then he disappeared.

  Ruby sat on the bank and leaned back, took a deep, shaky breath. It was a hard decision for her to make but she didn’t have time to think about it because Gavin was a few meters behind, running towards her. She had to pretend like she didn’t know he was coming so she closed her eyes as if she was listening the silence in the park and having some rest.

  “Ruby!” Gavin called and she jumped from her seat “Fuck! Gavin! You scared me! You sneaky little…”

  Gavin was looking around angrily “Shut it! Who was with you? We saw someone running the other way, who is it?” Ruby  had to come up with a good lie and she knew that. If Gavin found out that Shaw was there, there’d be a huge mess but all she could say was “No one. I didn’t see anybody. What the hell are you talking about?”

  Gavin gave her a death glare that so deep Ruby felt like his eyes were piercing her skin. He knew she was playing dumb and that pissed him off because he was almost sure his brother  he hadn’t been in touch for a couple of years and he didn’t like much, hated actually, was there and he just wanted the truth. If he was there, Gavin needed to know why.

  Ruby crossed her arms and got close to him “Want to start a staring contest, Gabbie?” Gavin answered her by taking a few steps towards her but he accidentally got too close that their bodies were about to touch. Ruby could feel the heat coming from Gavin’s skin and she liked it.

  It was Eli who broke the tension between them “Hello? We gotta go. Gavin, remember? The mission? Bad guy? Kicking his ass with Ruby?” and he grabbed Gavin from his shoulders and pulled him back. Gavin pointed his finger at Ruby “We’ll talk about this later.” Ruby rolled her eyes and walked by him “I am looking forward to it, baby boy. Also, if you want me to come with you, you have to feed me first. I am starving.” Gavin thought she’d be hungry when he left home so he already had some takeouts for her in the car.

  Ruby was checking the files she was given while eating her burger  in the car “I can do this alone, three people is unnecessary.”  she said with a full mouth. Gavin couldn’t hide his judgemental look while giving her a tissue “We know you can do it alone, we just have to see you on a mission so we can see  what you’re capable of, how do you react under certain circumstances…” Gavin had more to say but he was cut off by Eli “What’s your evol?”

  Ruby took a sip from her coke and looked back at Eli “I can control fire, water, earth and air.” Eli was impressed and a huge grin appeared on his handsome face “Cool. You’re like the Avatar, huh?” “What the fuck is the Avatar?” she asked but Eli was too sleepy to explain so he just shook his hand and closed his eyes. His snores started to be heared in a few minutes.

  It was a long day for Ruby, too. A long night, actually. She had much to think about but her head was full of Gavin even if he was right next to her, driving, focused on the road. She was wondering if he saw Shaw. Why wasn’t he talking? Was he angry? Did he hate her?

 She had to break the silence. “No new songs for me? I liked the one you played earlier, by the way.” Gavin didn’t even look at her. He just put the music on and kept driving just like that.

“I can see how you are beautiful, can you feel my eyes on you?”

No, he wasn’t angry. Gavin had a serious face on but on the inside he was just freaking out. He was still thinking about the man who was running when he saw Ruby but there was a bigger issue.

“I’m shy and turn my head away…”

He was feeling something he never did. It was like how he felt towards Youran but a little different. He loved Youran and had eyes only for her since high school and he always thought he’d love the girl who saved him, forever. But the one who fell asleep on the other seat was confusing him and they had known each other only for two days. Ruby had something he wanted, something he always looked for, even if he couldn’t put a finger on it yet. Is this love at first sight?  He thought but he knew they weren’t in a cheesy romantic comedy, just like Ruby said the other night.  He put his jacket on Ruby’s curled up body, stroked her cheek and smiled “You’re gonna put me in trouble.”

   It was around 07.00 am when they arrived the place but they had to wait for the evening to take action. Eli left them after breakfast to get a couple of things ready. Gavin offered some help but Eli said that he didn’t need it so they were alone at the cafe.

  Ruby was playing with her food, hands on her chin, daydreaming. Gavin called for her but she was literally in another world. “Hey, stop playing.” No answer. “I said stop playing with your food.” His voice got stern but she just kept pushing her olives side to side by her fork. Gavin had enough and suddenly held her wrist and took his fork away “Stop.” Ruby looked at his hand around her wrist and looked back at Gavin “You took my fork...” and  pouted childishly.  Gavin tried his best not to blush but he knew he failed because his cheeks were literally burning up. He let her wrist go and gave her the fork back “Eat without playing, I don’t want you to be hungry during the day. Is there something bothering you?” Yeah she thought to herself, looking at his amber eyes.  Your brother is bothering me. Can you tell me what I’m gonna do about him and the cure? Would you mind if I betray you and the others for my benefit and some ridicluous revenge I don’t even want to get now? May I kiss you? She wasn’t expecting the last question to pop up in her head and the shock made her come to her senses “I didn’t say anything!” she shouted and everyone at the cafe looked at her. She was so embrassed that she squirmed on the chair till she thought she became invisible and Gavin laughed at her “I can still see you.” like he was reading her mind.

 “Sorry…” Ruby whispered. Her voice was so low, Gavin had to read her lips to get what she said. “Nothing’s bothering me. Just…” she suddenly got up and packed her things “These olives are shitty and you’re annoying. Let’s go.” She walked out of the cafe and Gavin followed her “Yeah, look at the one who’s talking about annoyance.”

 They spent their day till the evening doing nothing and the time finally came. The mission was simple; there was a man who was doing experiments on kid evolvers and his location was unknown but he was invited to a ball that night and that was where they were going to catch him. They also had a simple plan, one of them in the van, giving instructions, two of them at the ball, disguised as a couple and waiting  for the man. They all had been to this kind of missions before so it’d be so easy.

 Ruby was all dressed up. A slitted, long, black, silk dress that hugs her curves, elegant heels and some smokey eyed make up. She looked perfect, chef’s kiss.

 She was waiting in the motel room they booked. The guys weren’t ready yet and they were running out of time “Hurry up! Ugh, we are not going to attend some kind of fashion show!” she yelled and Eli and Gavin showed up as soon as she finished her sentence but they were both dressed in suits. “Huh?” she asked.

 Eli and Gavin looked at each other and Eli protested “No, Gavin, no! You hate balls and no offense buddy but you’re the worst dancer I’ve ever seen. You’re gonna blow up our cover. Do you remember the last time?” Gavin did remember the last time but he didn’t want to let Eli to be with her that night when she was looking so stunning that Gavin couldn’t look at her directly.

 Gavin didn’t answer him back, he just untied Eli’s tie, and made him walk outside the room, and then closed the door. Eli shouted from the outside “I am going to the van but this is not cool Gavin, not cool at all!” Ruby was struggling to hold her laughter back but she was still doing a good job“Ready?” Gavin looked at the mirror and fixed his hair “Yeap. C’mon.” His hair was still a little ruffled so Ruby straightened it with her hands. Her touch was making Gavin feel like he was in haven and he wished his hair was more messy so Ruby’d play with it more. She smiled when his hair was all done “Now you’re ready.”

 They were in a luxurious limo. “Victor is an evil capitalist but he has the taste.” Ruby commented about it and Gavin wanted to puke all over the car “No, he is just and evil capitalist and a 28 year old, grumpy, sassy, fucking child.” Ruby lifted her brow at him “What’s the deal with you, Youran and Victor, anyway? Youran is a nice woman and Victor is annoying but he’s okay.” Gavin wasn’t planning to answer that question. Ruby didn’t need to know about his miserable, one sided love but she was insistent “C’mon, Gavin. I told you almost everything about me. What’s the point of hiding such things?” Gavin leaned towards her and whispered “Tell me who was the guy at the park and I’ll tell you what’s my deal with them. Otherwise, don’t expect me to be fully honest with you before you’re fully honest with me.” Oh, how the tables turned, she thought. Ruby pushed his head back with her fingertip “You don’t have to get so close to me everytime you want to prove a point. Okay, we get it, you’re a tough guy, you’re cool.” And they didn’t say a word till they arrive the place.

  Gavin and Ruby entered the hall, Gavin’s hand on Ruby’s waist, their steps and moves so harmanious that they were walking around like a power couple. Yet, Gavin was a little nervous because Eli was right, he didn’t know how to dance so he hoped their target to arrive as soon as possible. Ruby realized Gavin’s uneasiness and wanted to change the mood for a bit when they took their seats around a table “So, you come here often, handsome?”  she said with a flirtatious smirk on her face and that made Gavin choke his drink “Sorry, what?” Ruby liked this about him. He looked and acted like a big,  imposing tiger but he was an innocent kitty who needed to be petted on the inside.

  She was in the mood for some fun so she wanted to tease him a little more and put her hand on his leg “Why are you so far from me? You’re gonna give our cover away. We have to act like a couple here, you know that.” Gavin cleared his throat and put his arm on her naked shoulders “Right. Is this okay?” he said with a raspy voice. He could smell her fresh scent better and he felt like was smelling a beautiful rose garden. Her skin was so soft, Gavin had to fight his urge to touch her more. Ruby nuzzled her nose to the column of his neck “Yeah. It’s okay.” Unfortunately, their moment was cut off by Eli on the other side of their headphones “He is here. Charlise Walker is here. You know what to do. Let’s go babies, make daddy proud.” Gavin palmed his face “Shut the fuck up, weirdo.” and Eli answered him with a grumpy voice “I am bored, Gavin. You’re at a fancy ball with a stunning woman and I am in a van, watching you through some stupid cameras.” Ruby laughed  “Aww, thank you.”

  All they had to do was to keep an eye on him and wait for the right moment to get him. However, they waited for a long time but he was surrounded by some people all the time and Ruby was running out of patience, so are Gavin and Eli. She looked at her pocket mirror, checked her make up and hair “You know, there are three ways to get a job done.” “Huh?” Gavin asked while sipping his third glass of scotch. “Easy way, hard way and Ruby way.” She said and stood up “Easy way is waiting till he gets alone and it didn’t work. I’m done with drinking, chatting with some bourgeois and dancing while Gavin literally mashing my feet.” Gavin protested “You keep putting your feet under mine, it’s your fault.” Eli yelled from the other side “Shut up. The air conditioner isn’t working here so if you want your beloved friend to live, listen her plan Gavin. And fuck you, Victor.” Ruby continued “Hard way is cuffing him right here, blowing our covers and face seventy six of his stinky, evolver bodyguards here. It’s a piece of cake for me but I don’t think you can get through this.” “Get to the point.” Gavin said. Ruby turned her back and walked towards their target while whispering  “You’re about to watch the Ruby way.”

  Then, she was sitting with Charlise Walker in less than ten minutes. Her mic was turned off so Gavin couldn’t hear what they were talking about but he was watching them giggling, playing with each other and he almost lost it when Ruby kissed him on his lips. Eli made some dumb jokes about the situation but Gavin was busy with his thoughts rooming around his head and getting pissed off. He didn’t know why he was so angry. Youran was still the one he loved, what he felt towards Ruby was just a simple crush. After all she was an awesome woman, hot, smart, strong, badass, it was impossible not to like her. Also, he knew she was just doing what she had to do but he was struggling to reisist his desire to be in Charlise’s place.

  When Gavin extricated himself from his thoughts, Ruby and Charlise were long gone, Eli was shouting at him from his headphones “Gavin! For fuck’s sake, put yourself together! Do you hear me?! They’re upstairs, number 608, go!” He rushed to the elevator but it wasn’t working. He had to run upstairs so he did, but it was too late when he arrived the room.

  He knocked the door but there was no answer. He knocked a few times more before breaking in and the sight inside was horrible. Charlise was lying on the ground, well, he wasn’t completely lying because his body parts were everywhere and Ruby was trying to wipe some blood from her body and she was shaking. She didn’t notice Gavin till he yelled “What the hell happened here?!”

  Ruby dropped the cloth from her hand when she saw Gavin. He was so mad and Ruby knew exactly what he was thinking. She wiped her tears off and took a step back “It’s not like what it seems, I swear. He… he just… he did… and I said… I couldn’t stop him…” she said between her sobs. Gavin squatted beside the corpse and shouted with a voice so loud that could break the windows “Stop lying to me! Why did you kill him?! We had to bring him to STF and lock him up! What makes you any different from Leto at this point?!”

  “You have to listen to me! I didn’t kill him! I was about to cuff and bring him to you but he recognised me, I don’t know how and…” she was on her knees and her heart and soul literally shattered when Gavin stood up and said “It was a mistake to give you a chance. You’re not getting out of STF building from now on and you’re not a member of the council anymore.” His eyes were full of fury, regret and sadness. He hoped Ruby to get better and he was ready to do his best to help her but what he saw was making it obvious that Ruby couldn’t be helped.

  For the first time in her life Ruby didn’t know what to do. She thought she was given a chance to be the person  she wanted to be, to free her soul from her demons but prejudice was her biggest obsticale. She wanted to say something, she wanted to fix the misunderstanding but the words were knotted in her throat. She thought what Shaw said and finally accepted that there was no place for her among them.  For her, Gavin believed what he wanted to believe without listening to her once and that was enough for her to lose her hope. She just whispered a little “Okay.” and sat on a chair while Gavin was pacing up and down around the room and making some phone calls. She made sure he wasn’t looking and put out the phone Gavin gave her earlier. Then, she texted the only number she knew.

“The game, Shaw, is on. I’m in.” and she got a reply in no time “Cool. We’ll be in touch, babe.”

Chapter Text

 Their ride back to Loveland was uncomfortably silent. Eli stayed at the hotel to take care of the mess so Gavin and Ruby were all alone. Ruby was sitting on the backseat and Gavin was avoiding eye contact with her, he didn’t even look at her direction. That was pissing Ruby off so she faked a laugh, she felt like she had to say something but she was done trying to prove her innocence. “That’s funny.” she said and Gavin finally looked at her reflection on rearview mirror but still kept quiet. “You were so into me till a couple of hours ago. You thought I wouldn’t notice, hmm? But I saw how you looked at me. I felt how you touch me, not only with your fingers, you used wind to feel me.” and she was right. Gavin was into her, he did use his evol to feel her and he wanted much more. His desire for her was still there even  after what he saw back in the hotel room but he thought he shouldn’t feel like that. He had been repeating the same sentence in his head to convince himself.  “She can’t be helped.”

 Gavin speeded up and said “I can assure you it won’t happen again.” with a serious voice. “I’m not looking forward to get murdered.” His words were harsh but Ruby knew he’d soon regret saying those. She closed her eyes and said “Remember those words when you found out that I wasn’t the one who killed Charlise Walker.” before falling asleep.

 When they arrived STF, the Council was waiting for them and Victor started to scold Gavin as soon as he saw him “See? I told you not to involve her. I told you put her back in where she was kept and I…” Gavin cut him off and yelled back “Remember how many times I told you shut the fuck up or I’ll punch your ugly face? ” Victor stood up from his seat “I want to see you try.” and if Youran didn’t get between them there’d be a huge fight. “We don’t know what exactly happened yet.” she said “Let’s listen to Ruby first and then we’ll decide what to do.” Other Council members agreed with her, except Victor and Gavin, then they took their seats around the table.

 Ruby was still standing up, her arms crossed. She was wearing the same dress, all bloody and a bit torn. Still, she was looking like a beautifully sculpted statue. She took a few slow steps towards the table and put her hands on Gavin’s shoulders “Oh, you decided to listen to me now? I already was trying to tell you what happened but a certain someone was busy yelling at me. Oh, and I’m in this room but I hope you’re not bothered…” She squeezed Gavin’s shoulders tightly and he hissed. Then, Ruby continued in a low, sarcastic voice “I am not a Council member, after all.” Victor attempted to say something but Youran stopped him and she talked instead of Victor “Of course you’re still a member. Who said that you are not?”

 Gavin knew Youran disapproved his behaviour and he felt so ashamed of what he did. He hadn’t realized till that moment but he knew he had to listen to Ruby first, just like Youran. He grabbed her wrists and removed Ruby’s hands from his shoulders. The same tension he felt everytime he touched her was still there. “You didn’t see what I saw.”  Ruby seated herself “Hmm, what did you see exactly?” and Gavin finally looked at her directly “I saw the body, I saw you covered in blood. And you were crying just like you cried after almost killing Leto.”

 “And that means I killed him? How can you be so sure? Is it because you think that’s what I am? You think I am a cutthroat that murders people just like that?” she asked and it was impossible not to hear the disappointment in her voice. “I thought you believed in me, Gavin. I thought I was given a chance.”

  “The door and the windows were all locked and there weren’t any trails to prove someone else’s presence so there were only you and Charlise in that room. You’re the only suspect.”

  Ruby protested “No! There was an evolver and I tried to stop him but I couldn’t!” and Ann Wyl, who was an other Council member, asked skepctically “An evolver? You couldn’t stop an evolver? You almost destroyed this entire building by just a snap, girl. You literally beat the shit out all of us. How come you couldn’t stop one, tiny, little evolver?” Meda beared her out “She has a point.” so did Gavin and Victor.

  Ruby rubbed her forehead in despair. She was telling them the truth and she wouldn’t try so hard to convince them if she didn’t have to gain the Council’s trust to begin the plan. Their insistence on not to believe in her was making Ruby angrier on the inside. “Look…” she said “I know how it seems but listen to me.”

  Victor rolled his eyes “We’re already listening to you. I think you’re trying to gain more time.”

  Ruby took a deep breath and ignored him “After we went upstairs, I wanted to cuff him and finish the job as soon as we got in the room but I was tricked. He knew me, he knew I was the Red Queen and we got in a fight. Yes, I could finish him right there but I didn’t want to. I wanted to make things right for once, so I tried not to hurt him. Suddenly, someone appeared. He didn’t use the door or the windows to get in. I’m sure I saw him getting through the wall…” Victor laughed “Is this your excuse? He got through the wall?” and Youran shut him up by stepping on his feet.

  Ruby continued “Yes, Mr. I am So Sassy And Smart Look At Me. He did get through the wall…” but Ruby was cut off by someone again “And then, that person ran through Charlise Walker and his body exploded, right? That’s why his body parts are all around the room? After that, you panicked and tried to clean yourself and the room?” It was Eli with a CD in his hand. “When did you come?” Gavin asked but Eli didn’t answer him. He just inserted the CD to one of the computers and played a video. It was a secret camera footage of the room the accident happened in and everything went exactly how Ruby and Eli told. There really was a man who got through the walls and Charlise’s body, made him explode and there was a sharp silence when Eli stopped the video.

  Gavin whispered “Shit.” He was aware he screwed up so bad. He promised her he was going to help her but he already failed and it had been only three days since they met. In that three short days, Gavin fell for her -even though he thought it was just a crush- and he blew his chance up. And that wasn’t the only problem. He had to be the one Ruby relied on, share her burden and ask for help when she needed but he let her down as soon as a tiny inconvenience happened and that’s why Ruby had every right to hate him, he thought.

  Ruby rose from her chair and gave Gavin a death glare that sent shivers up to his spine “Do you believe me now or should I go to hell, bring Charlise fucking Walker back and make him tell you the whole story again?” She got what she wanted. They were all ashamed of their false judgement and Ruby knew how to use their remorse against them. Then, she looked at Victor “Well, trustfund kid. Are you ready to take your shitty behaviour and shove it into…” Youran didn’t let her finish that sentence, otherwise Victor could say something that’d piss Ruby even more off “Ruby, can you please calm down? You’re upset and you have reasons for that but…” Ruby smiled and shook her head “I am not upset, Youran. I am just disappointed. I didn’t know I was sitting with such shallow, prejudiced people. Well, except you. You are a nice one.”

  “I am sorry.” a raspy voice was heared and it was full of regret “I am so sorry, Ruby.” Gavin reached for her to hold her hand but she stepped back “I had enough of your empty talks, Gavin. I don’t need much more of them.” She nodded at Eli and smiled “Thank you for showing them the video. And now, I’ll change my clothes and then leave this place. That’s all from me. I won’t save a city, a world where I am not trusted and respected.” “What do you mean?” Eli asked worriedly. “I said what I said. I’m done. Keep fighting against Black Swan but I won’t be on your side. I’ll try to have a life of my own, that I am not trated like an impulsive monster.” Victor loosened his tie and leaned back “Look, we’re sorry, okay? Stop making a fuss about it and sit down. We…” Ruby wanted to throw him directly to the wall over and over again but instead, she just biffed the table and the whole room was shaken “The audocity you have… Bold of you to assume that you could tell me what to do.” she gave him a death stare and left the room with loud steps.

  Gavin wanted to go after her but something inside was preventing him from moving. Maybe it was the heaviness of accusing someone wrongly and wrecking their hope or maybe it was just his pride. So, he stayed there, head between hands, mind and heart running after Ruby.

  After a few hours, Ruby was at the bar she met Shaw the other day. She hadn’t check her phone after sendig Shaw that text so there were unread messages from him.

“Let me know when you arrived STF.” 01.28 am.

“How you doing?” 03.14 am.

“Morning.” 09.52 am.

“I’ll skip classes today, wanna come over and talk things out?” 11.47 am.

“Did you convince them that you didn’t do it?” 12.35 pm.

  His last text was quite hinky. How could he know about the situation? She hadn’t told him about what happened yet, she didn’t tell him why she wanted to keep up with the plan.  Ruby sent a quick reply while sipping her wine. “I’m waiting at the bar. Come here, asap.” and he was there in ten minutes.

  Shaw leaned towards her to give her a little kiss on the cheek but she moved her head “How do you know?” Shaw asked “Know what?” while placing his skateboard and sitting rigt next to Ruby. She moved a little far from him “I don’t remember telling you about what happened back at the ball. So, how do you know about it?” She was distancing herself from him and Shaw was getting annoyed by that because Ruby always liked physical contact, so did he.

  Shaw drafted her drink “Walls have ears, babygirl.” and winked at her. Ruby narrowed her brows in annoyance “You’ll lose yours if you keep calling me pet names. Anyways, they know I didn’t do it and I am sure that I made a huge scene that’ll make them crawl back to me in regret, especially Gavin.” and there was a neat grin on Shaw’s face “I couldn’t expect less from you. But didn’t we have enough of this, for now? Let’s hang around a little, just like old days. Also, I know you don’t have money or a place to stay so I might share my bed with you if you ask nicely.” He was mentally crossing his fingers because he really wanted Ruby to stay with him. He even cleaned his studio up, changed his sheets, washed the dishes wishing Ruby’d come over. He was trying so hard to hide the excited and in love teenager inside of him. But Ruby turned him down by saying that she had to wait for Gavin to call.

  Shaw hated hearing his brother’s name coming out of the lips he loved to kiss so much. She was saying his name in every five seconds and Shaw was already sick of it. “Fuck, why do you keep wandering his lame name?” Ruby rose from her seat “I am not wandring his name. I have to wait for his call and ignore them. Then, he’ll come to me and literally beg for me to come back and voila, I’ll have their full trust and respect. After that, we’ll do what we have to do. Got it?”

  “Bullshit!” Shaw shouted and his voice gathered everyone’s attention. “You don’t want me around anymore because of him, don’t you? Do you think he likes you? It’d been only three days, for fuck's sake! I thought you were smarter than that, sweetcheeks. My stupid ass brother is desperately in love with Youran and he wants you around just because you look like her. But, guess what! You’re nothing alike! Not at all! And soon, when he realized that, he’ll kick your cute ass out so fast…” he paused for a moment and continued with a more calm voice “What I’m trying to say is… If he’s the one that comes between you and me, then screw the plan. Screw Lucien, Black Queen  and the Black Swan, screw everything except us. I don’t want to change and live in a world where we’re not together, Ruby.” She was about to give him a furious answer when she sensed someone’s presence at the door of the bar. The last person that had to be there. Gavin.

Chapter Text

 Gavin was looking around to find Ruby and she had to think fast. Shaw was still venting about their so called relationship and her head was about to blow up because of all the things Shaw said and the stress of Gavin’s sudden appearance. She grabbed Shaw’s arm and dragged him to a crowded corner “Leave! We’ll talk later but you gotta go now, okay?” Shaw didn’t understand why she wanted him to leave in the middle of a serious conversation till he saw Gavin, who was trying to see through the crowd, a few meters away. He clicked his tongue and pushed her slowly to the side “Maybe it’s time to have a little conversation with my sweet brother, huh?”

  

 Gavin’d see them if Ruby didn’t spill the glasses on a waiter’s tray to his shirt by using her evol. She gained a couple of more seconds while Gavin was trying to clean his clothes with the shocked and clumsy waiter’s help. Ruby held Shaw’s hand nervously, a worried look on her face “I said leave, Shaw! You know what’ll happen if he sees us together. Go now and I’ll be in your studio in a few hours. Wait for me there. Okay?” Shaw whispered to her ear “I don’t think so, babe.” He knew his brother was in love with Youran but he was also aware of his brother’s complicated feelings and the possibility of losing her to Gavin was making him frustrated, even if it was a tiny one. He wasn’t wrong, though. Victor and Youran had been dating not for a long time and Gavin was still trying to deal with it with questionable coping mechanisms. One of them might be getting close to someone who reminds him of Youran in some ways.

  

  Ruby sighed in despair and headed towards Gavin, hoping Shaw won’t cause any trouble.  These two,  she thought.  Being annoying is in their genes or something? 

 Gavin shooed the waiter, who was still trying to clean his shirt up, away when he saw Ruby coming his way. “Hi, hey, Ruby...” he said silently, scratching his nape. “You really like this place, huh?”

 

   He had never been good at showing his feelings using words. He always brought them out by actions but he had no idea how to indicate his shame and regret. “Can we talk?” he asked, hoping he wasn’t in a place with no turning backs. Ruby crossed her arms and tilted her head “I don’t know, Gavin. Did you listen to me when I wanted to talk?” Her acridness was getting obnoxious but, for Gavin, it was better than not to say anything.

 

   He pulled up a chair for her Ruby sighed over the unexpected courtesy “Alrigt, talk.” Yet, Gavin wasn’t talking. He eyed at the menu on the table “Wanna drink something? Or, are you hungry? I don’t know about the...” but he stopped talking when he saw Ruby’s questioning face “Fine, fine. I just don’t know where to start. I’m a dick and I’m really sorry. I should’ve listened to you before coming up with conculisions. It’s... I mean... I’m really confused and out of my mind these days and that’s not much like me. I know it’s not an excuse but...”

 

  “What’s the matter?” Ruby asked. She exactly knew what was messing with his head, thanks to Shaw who was still sitting at a dark spot and fighting with his urge to punch his brother in the face, but she wanted to hear it from him, yet, Gavin started tapping the table nervously, without giving her an answer.  Ruby was enjoying seeing him on pins and needles so she gave him a sassy smile “I don’t accept apologies in morse code if that’s what you’re trying to do and I don’t want to argue about the same shit all over again. Just spill the fucking beans and then you go your way and I’ll go mine.” 

 

  “Where’s your way headed?” Gavin asked.

  “I don’t know yet. I’ll hit the road and arrive somewhere, anywhere, but not here. As I said before, I won’t stay in a city where I’m treated like a...” she was about to say “monster”, a bloody, cruel monster but Gavin cut her off “No. Don’t you say it. That’s not who you are.”

 

  “Then, who am I?”

 

  Gavin paused for a moment to choose the right words. It didn’t matter if she stayed or left, he wanted Ruby to be in a pleace where she’ll find her long lost peace but he’d be damned if he didn’t get those words out of his chest. 

 

  The music was getting louder so he got closer to her, they could feel each other’s breathing. “I’m not the one who has the right to define who you are but I want you to know that you’re the most interesting woman I’ve ever met. Not gonna lie, you’re not the most candid, friendliest and loveliest one but you have something that attracts a great deal of attention. Look, I know I promised to help you and I screwed up, big time...” He put his hand on hers “But I can make it up to you if you give me a chance. If you don’t, I totally get that if you want to leave. You have reasons for that and I gave you the majority of them. Still, I want you to know that we need you here, I n... What I mean is...” He started to stutter and Ruby caressed his hand lightly to help him relieve his mind, choose the right words. 

 

  Shaw was still watching them from his corner. His brother talking to his girl was one thing but what the fuck was that holding hands crap? Shaw and Ruby dated not for a short time and they never held hands so the view literally made his heart sank with rage and jealousy. He thought he deserved that kind of intimacy, not his lame brother.

 

  Shaw didn’t think twice before standing up and walking towards them as fast as lightning but he wasn’t faster than Ruby. She was watching him during their whole conversation and it didn’t last long for her to realize Shaw’s annoyance so she was ready if he attempted to do something stupid like coming to their table and making a scene. Ruby moved her her free hand slowly and Shaw felt the air in his lungs choking him, the blood in his veins drowning him. He collapsed back to his chair and that was when Ruby stopped controlling him. Shaw got her message but his anger was still there and it was even worse. However, he knew there was nothing he could do and watching them getting so close was hurting him, that’s why he rushed out of the bar and texted her “You’re coming my studio right after you’re finished with him. You’d better have some damn good explanation, brat. Also, we have to go to the BS Headquarters in a few hours.”

 

  Gavin took his hand off hers when he realized their touch was distracting him and finally continued talking “I’m sorry, I mean it and it’d be great if you stay. I don’t think we can get through this without you and I promise I’ll be by your side, no matter what.” That was exactly what Ruby wanted, his desperate trust and need for her. She nodded with a sly smile “Okay. I’ll stay, stop whining. Geez.” and her first step was already completed.

 

  They left the bar after having some drinks and chitchat, and then Gavin asked Ruby if she had plans for the night. “Yeah, why?” she said. She was in a rush since she saw Shaw’s text, she had to see him. She was feeling bad about hurting him like that but it’d be a worse situation if Gavin saw Shaw, she thought. “I thought we can walk around for a while to unwind. I know a place with a beautiful night view but if you’re busy, we can go later, I guess.” Ruby had no time to fool around with him but she still looked interested “Oh, that sounds cool but I really can’t come right now. This girl has to take care of a couple of things and she needs to hurry. So, bye Gabbie!!” she turned around and was about to get lost but Gavin stopped her by grabbing her arm. Ruby looked at his hand around her arm and then his face with a quizzical, annoyed face, making Gavin immidiately remove his hand “I just want to ask one last time that... are we good?” It was his tenth time asking the same question and Ruby was already tired of giving him the same answer over and over again so she took two steps towards him and whispered to his ear “No. I’m a crazy bitch and I’ll never forget what you put me through, even if it’s a tiny misunderstanding. You’ll watch me turning this world upside down...” she traced his jawline with her fingertips “I’ll destroy this shithole in the most beautiful way possible and when I leave...” she tilted his head and they were face to face, their noses almost touching “... you’ll finally understand, why storms are named after people.” Gavin was frozen and they stared into each other’s faces, Ruby could see the miserable shock in his eyes. However, her laugh cut the tension “Gabbie! I’m messing with you. Just stop asking the same thing. We’re good and I really have to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow. Okay?” Gavin laughed with her but it was the most uncomfortable laugh Ruby had ever seen. He scratced his neck again, just like he did everytime he felt uneasy. “I know you’re kidding. I just played along.” “Alrighty, then.” she said and turned back, Gavin watched her disappear in the crowd, a faint smile on his face.

 

  When Ruby arrived Shaw’s place, the door of the studio was not completely closed and she could see him spinning his drumsticks in anger, from ajar. She got inside and closed the door “Are those the ones I bought you for your birthday?” Shaw tossed the sticks to the corner and rose frim his seat slowly “Maybe, maybe not.” They were, indeed. “What the fuck happened back there?” he asked with an angry tone but his question was left unanswered “Did you clean up here? Wow, I didn’t know you had chairs over there, since they were always under piles of clothes.” Ruby’s apathy and sarcasm was driving him insane, both sexually and emotionally. He took a deep breath, trying to steady his vioice but he was failing “You were almost killing me! I waited and fought for you for years and is this all I get?! Ooh, don’t forget the part you got all handsy with my stupid ass brother, too!” She rolled her eyes “Don’t act as if I fucked him. We just held hands like lame high schoolers and believe me, I was puking inside. I just need him to be by my side because people respects and trusts him at STF, so if he’s with me, I’ll gain their trust and respect, too. Yet, I’m sorry for hurting you like that.” She winked at him in a bratty way “But you used to enjoy to be choked.” 

 

  Shaw walked up to Ruby and then she was against the wall, he was caging him “It’s not the same thing. Cut the crap.” He bit her lower lip, his right hand on her thigh, the other one on her waist “We were interrupted at the park.” and then the bite turned into a rough, passionate kiss but it didn’t last long. Ruby moved her head and get rid of his grip “We’re not doing this, Shaw. I told you, we’re not good for each other.” He pulled her back again “I don’t want good, I want you. No matter what.” The same conversation was about to replay and she wasn’t in the mood for that. All she wanted right then was going to the headquarters and let the chaos begin, as soon as possible. “You love me that bad, huh?” she asked. Shaw clicked his tongue “I’m crazy for you. You’re driving me insane and I like that. Calling this feeling ‘love’ is just making it simple. You’re much more important to me.” Ruby opened two beers and gave one to Shaw “Here’s the deal. If you help me do what I have to do, without making things hard and angsty like this, then I promise I’ll take the cure. I’ll take it and we’ll be together. We’ll live and die side by side.” Shaw dropped his bottle “What? Why I have to wait? And also, I want you to be with me because you want me and I’ll make you want me again. I don’t need this kind of stupid deal.” Ruby drafted her drink and walked to the door “Take it or leave it. You need to know that you’re still a special person in my life, you always will be. However, you’re not more important than my plan.” He took his coat and they left the studio together. “ What do you mean ‘your plan’? I thought we were in this together. You, me, Lucien and BS?” 

“I made some changes. Don’t be naive. I hate Black Swan as much as I hate STF and they’re going down together.”

Shaw stopped and asked “Will you really come back to me if I do as you say, after everything’s done? You mean it?” Shaw’s tone was so innocent , that made Ruby feel horrible. She didn’t even look at his face “Yes. I mean it.” Shaw kissed her cheek lightly “We have a deal, then.” Ruby knew the seriousness of the promise she made but she decided to deal with it later. She saved the day and it was enough for her.

 

   Shaw kept talking about stuff during the whole ride to the headquarters but Ruby couldn’t hear him because of the voices in her own head. She thought about how she escaped the place she was locked up, killed all those men, the first time she met Gavin, waking up at a cell in STF, almost destroying the building, fighting with Leto, how she cried when she felt guilty for hurting him that bad and Gavin consoling her, decising she wanted to be a better person, the council, meeting with Shaw after a long time, breaking up, the hotel, Charlise Walker and his death, Gavin breaking her heart and tarnishing her honour and her losing hope of being treated as a human being again and that was already on a knife edge, by the way. Too many things happened in a really short time and she knew she’ll face more after that night.

 

  The Black Swan building was pretty silent and their footsteps were echoing. “Where’s everybody?” she asked to Shaw. “Here. They’re all waiting for you, my one and only Queen.” he said while pushing a huge door. There was a big crowd in a dark hall and everybody kneeled when they saw Ruby. One of them shouted “The Red Queen has arrived!” and the others followed “All hail to the Queen!”

 

  There was a man on the back, who didn’t kneel. He slowly walked towards Ruby and Shaw. She couldn’t see him clearly but she didn’t need to. She exactly knew who he was. Ruby whispered “Lucien.” The man in a dark suit greeted her by kissing the back of her hand “Welcome home, Red. Are you ready?” 

 

  Ruby had a beautiful yet shady smile on her face. She rose her hands and lit up all the torches in the hall “Always have been.”

Chapter Text

  Ruby was slowly walking to the throne on the other side of the hall as all the evolvers were watching and waiting for her speech. She sat down and crossed her legs before telling them everything they wanted to hear. It had been a long time since she visited this place last time, when was before she was taken by STF and started to work for them.

  She cleared her throat and started to talk in a serious but calm tone “It’s good to be back after all this time, and I’m glad you’re all happy to see me. Your one and only Queen.” Voices raised again from the crowd “Long live the Queen!” and the phrase made Ruby laugh. “Oh don’t worry, I’ll live long, no doubts. We’ll all do... “ she knitted her eyebrows “...I’ll make sure of it. But there’ll be some changes around here before we execute the plan. To be honest,  the flu thing is completely off the table.”

  “No way!” someone shouted. She was a beautiful woman with long dark hair and darker eyes. “Artemis.” Ruby said. She was surprised by that unexpected objection “May I ask you why?” Artemis got closer to the throne, where Ruby was sitting and giving her death glares that make her soul almost shatter. She bowed “We’ve really worked hard on the virus. Especially Ares and The Black Queen put so much effort in it. Also, this plan is perfect. I don’t understand why...” She was cut off by Ruby “Because I have other plans and I don’t have to give you an explanation for that.” Ruby rose from her seat. She got closer to Artemis, stroked her cheek and she felt like her face was burnining inside. She whined and Ruby continued “Still, if you want to know the reason so bad, then I’ll tell you a little about it because I am a great leader. However, if any of you oppose me like that ever again, I’ll make you rue the day you were born.”

  *******

  Gavin was heading home but then he realized he wanted to hang out a little. He really needed to relax and collect his wits and talk to someone. He didn’t have lots of friends since he was a loner all his life and Minor was the first person came to his mind but Minor wasn’t involved in evolver stuff so Gavin wanted things to stay that way. Eli? They had been so close since Gavin joined STF but Eli didn’t answer his call. He suddenly felt so bad about himself. What did he do to be left alone this much?

  His pity yourself party was intterrupted by his phone ringing. He saw Youran’s face and name on the screen and hesitated to answer it right away. Youran was the last person he wanted to talk at that moment but ‘what if she’s in trouble?’ he thought. He accepted the call and let her talk first.

“Hi, Gavin.” her voice was a little shaky.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” he asked worriedly.

“I just... uhm... I...”

“Stay where you are, I’m on my way.” Gavin said and ended the call. He looked the GPS app that he traced Youran and she was at Gavin’s house. Then, his phone rang again.

“I’m at your home, waiting for you. You gave me a spare key back then, remember? Don’t worry, I’m not in danger. We just need to taşk about something.”

Gavin was silent.

“I also brought some lasagne. C’mon, hurry up. You don’t want to eat it if it gets cold.”

He ended the call again and flied home, heart beating out of his chest. Why was she there all of a sudden? They had never been alone together since she started to date Victor, they didn’t even talked if it’s not an urgent matter so what was the reason behind? His curiousity was racing with his thrill.

  Youran was sitting on the table when Gavin got in through the window. She was looking like a sad puppy and Gavin wanted to hug her troubles away right there but he just sat on the chair on the other side of the table. “Hi. What’s the matter? Did Victor do something? If he did I swear...” Youran smiled and talked while putting some food on Gavin’s plate  “Hi and please calm down. We just had a little argument, not a biggie. He’s pretty worried about me since I joined the council and I know he has reasons for that but still... It made me upset. However, I’m mostly worried about you and I’m here to talk about it. You know I care about you even if you’re too distant these days.”

  He hated seeing her uneasy and Victor being the reason of it was making him angrier. For him, Youran was the most precious thing in the world and anyone who made her upset had to be punched in the face. “What did he say?” Gavin asked. Youran rolled her eyes “Gavin! I’m here for you! Can you please eat your food? And then we’ll have some drinks and talk.”

  Gavin didn’t say anything but he had himself a mental note to give Victor some hard time when they see each other again.

  “I saw a dream about you.” Youran said when they were sitting in the living room after the meal. Gavin asked “Me? How was it?” She had a worried expression on her face “You were in a desert and it was dark. You were walking with a white rose that you held so tight, your hands were covered in blood. But you suddenly stopped when you saw a red rose. It was a really beautiful flower, Gavin. You looked literally mesmerised by it. The white flower fell down slowly from your hands and you got closer to the red one.” Gavin was confused. What was that supposed to mean? He opened his mouth but closed it again without saying anything. He didn’t know what to say.

  Youran continued “You wanted to smell it and the red rose let you. You both looked so peaceful when you caressed its leaves with your fingertips. You weren’t looking for it while walking at the desert but you were so glad you found it. Even the darkness was gone when you kissed it. But then...” “Then what?” he asked. Youran’s worried face turned into an afraid one “The rose started to burn your hand, your eyes and nose were bleeding. You still didn’t let the red rose go, though. You were holding onto it with your life. The rose was burning harder as you thightened your grip. You screamed out of your lungs and then collapsed to the ground, the rose was already turned into ashes but you were still holding them in your palm, tightly...” “Then?” Gavin didn’t expect to be that loud but he was too uptight to give a normal reaction. “The ashes rose from your palm when you closed your eyes. They hoovered around your face for a while and then disappeared in the sky. That was when the dream ended.”

  Youran’s eyes were teary and Gavin was out of words so he was sitting there, head between his hands. They both knew what the dream implied but neither of them wanted to say it out loud.

  After a long moment of silence, Gavin poured himself a glass of neat scotch “Maybe it’s just a normal dream, not a procognition? Huh?” Youran sighed in confusion “I don’t know, it might be. But I had to tell you about it. I’m aware you’re attracted to her in some way but you need to be careful.” Gavin protested “I’m not attracted to her. It’s more complicated than that. I just want to help her because I know how does it feel to be furious, angry and misunderstood. I don’t want anybody to feel like that.” Youran smiled “I think there’s more than that. She’s an attractive, powerful woman and it’s okay to like her. I mean...” Gavin shook her head and poured himself another glass “I’m not having this conversation with you.” Youran knew the reason but she couldn’t resist her urge to help him. She wanted him to be happy. He deserved it. “Ah, please. Don’t do this to yourself. Let me...” Gavin didn’t let her finish the sentence “I said I won’t have this conversation. You can stay if you want to hang out but I don’t want to see you here if you’ll insist on talking about this nonesense.” Youran’s heart was broken by his words but still she didn’t want to leave him all alone. She just sat back to the couch and stared out of window, trying to hold her tears back. They were silent all night long, till Victor came and picked her up.

  Gavin waited for Ruby to come back but she never showed up. His calls were unanswered and the GPS wasn’t working so he didn’t know where she was. He was worried but he also knew that she could never be in danger, she was the danger herself.

  Youran’s dream was messing with his head. If the red rose was implying Ruby, then that meant that she’ll cause so much trouble for him. But I already misjudged and disappointed her once, he told himself. I can’t do the same mistake again. He had to choose his words carefully, act wisely because he knew Ruby could get out of the way with a single push. What he didn’t know was it was already too late. He fell asleep on the couch waiting for the Red Queen.

  The sun was rising when the door was opened slowly. Ruby tiptoed to the living room where Gavin was sleeping. There were emtpy bottles on the floor, and a glass with some pink lipstick caught her eye, also Gavin was a mess. “You had fun, huh?” she whispered. “Naughty, naughty, naughty.”

  Gavin opened his eyes while Ruby was putting a blanket over him. “You’re back?” he asked with a raspy voice. She smiled and stroked his hair “No, Gabbie. I’m still out.” Gavin sighed “Shut up.” and fell asleep again, hugging his blanket.

  Ruby took a shower and lie down Gavin’s bed, since he was sleeping on her couch. The pillows were smelling like him and there was something calming about his scent. She smelled it deeply and closed her eyes. She was about to have a peaceful sleep when her phone vibrated. She groaned in annoyance and looked at the text from Shaw.

“We’re ready for today, babe. Sleep well.”

“Good.”

“I’ll sleep well, too.”

“Cool.”

“Oh, don’t be this much excited while talking to me. I’ll almost think you like me.”

“Me sleepy :( ”

“No, you just boring. See ya.”

  And then Ruby fell asleep in seconds. It wasn’t a long deep sleep, though. Because of Gavin’s 07.00 am alarm. It was ringing and ringing but none of them turned it off. “Fuuuck!” Ruby yelled and Gavin yelled back angrily “Stop yelling!”

“Oooh! Come and make me stop, baby boy! Turn your fucking alarm off before I break it on your head!” Gavin did as she said and pulled his blanket over his head “You’re such a pain in the ass sometimes.”

  They left the house after some cleaning and a quick breakfast. Gavin had some things to do at the police station and Ruby insisted on going with him. “C’mooon! I get bored when I’m alone. I’ll just ride Sparky with you and then go on my way. Besides, I need to do some shopping and look for an apartment so I can start from there.” she said and Gavin just couldn’t resist her demanding eyes.

  Ruby liked going fast and Gavin was getting faster everytime she laughed and shouted in excitement. They even took the long way to savour the moment a little more.

  Ruby pouted when they finally stopped “Ugh. I thought it’d last longer! My borrow Sparky, sometime?” Gavin took her helmet and shook his head “In your dreams. Anyway, I gotta go now but let me know if you need anything during the day, okay?” He smiled and headed inside, leaving Ruby, who was satisfied with her timing, behind.

  Her phone rang and she picked up right away. It was Shaw.

“In 3...”

There was a pretty grin on Ruby’s face.

“...2”

She closed her eyes.

“...and 1!”

 

A huge explosion was heard on the street.

Chapter Text

A huge explosion was heard on the street.

And then another one.

 A sneaky and ugly face appeared behind the cloud of dust while people were running all around in fear and panic. His every movement was causing a new explosion and it took just seconds for him to almost destroy the whole street.

 It was time for Ruby to make her move so she ran and jumped on the man but her attack was useless. The man whispered “I’m sorry my Queen.” Ruby nodded and the man threw her to the other side of the road with a tiny move. But she didn’t crash on the ground as she expected, she found herself in a warm embrace instead. She saw Gavin’s worried and uptight face when she looked up. “I got you.” Gavin said. They locked eyes for e few seconds that felt like ages and then he put her down slowly. He looked around, the chaos the man caused was quite serious and he was getting more and more brutal as Gavin and Ruby were standing there. People were trying to run away or find a place to hide but the attacker was heading them off. Gavin and Ruby had just a few seconds to prevent the street turn into a sea of blood. The cops were attacking the waylayer but their tiny guns and sirens had no use on him. He was an evolver and only an evolver could stop his attack.

 Ruby held Gavin’s arm and pushed him behind a car “Stay here! Or get inside a safe place, but whatever you do, don’t get out! I can stop him!” She rose a little to fly but Gavin pulled her back “The street is too crowded! You can’t use your evol here! If you do that, the evolvers’ll come into the open and I can’t let this happen!” She yelled back “Fuck it, Gavin! Stop being a coward, I won’t let these people get hurt just like that!” then she headed towards the man but then a little girl caught her eye. The girl was in shock and she was standing still, a huge piece of metal coming her way. Ruby changed her direction immediately and grabbed the girl. They had a really narrow escape from the metal and the little girl was hugging Ruby so thight, she was surprised a girl that was so tiny could be that strong. The girl’s shock got bigger when she realised they were flying “Are you an angel?” the girl asked, voice shaky, eyes teary, and Ruby put her down after giving her a warm smile. You have no idea, Ruby whispered.

 She was finally face to face with the attacker, again. Ruby hit him with a ball of flame that cause him to fall down and get burnt a little but it didn’t take long for him to attack back. Ruby lost her balance due to his assault but she still managed to create a little whirlwind to throw him away. Then she saw someone getting closer to the attacker. It was Gavin “We have to get him out of here!” he yelled and focused on the whirlwind Ruby created to make it bigger. They were planning to throw the attacker far away using the wind and deal with him somewhere the people can’t see them. Gavin was hoping they didn’t see much to know about evolvers but it was too late to back down.

 Ruby get in front of Gavin and pushed him “Get back! You’re gonna get hurt, dumbass! I can survive this but you might not! Fuck off, right now!” then Gavin grabbed and pulled her to the side, a ball of explosive material passing by them really close “I don’t want you to get hurt even if I know you won’t die. Also, this is my job and didn’t I promise you I’ll always be your side?” Ruby didn’t insist more on sending him back so they fought side by side, just like Gavin said and it was easier to push the attacker away from the city center when they were together.

 The attacker was already unconcious when they arrived somewhere abondoned. Gavin sat down to catch his breath “What... was... that?” Ruby touched the attacker with the tip of her shoe to see if he was still alive. He had to be alive and fortunately he was. “What do you mean? He’s a bad guy and we defeated him...” she clapped her hands with a sassy excitement “Yaaay!”

 Gavin stood up and handcuffed the man “You know what I mean. I’ve worked for STF for years, fought so many evolvers and picked them up. But I’ve never seen an evolver commiting a crime or cause this kind of chaos in a central place like that.” He wiped the sweat on his face and took a deep breath “This is not good. The existence of the evolvers might be revealed because of us and that’ll bring much more trouble. They are not ready for this.” Ruby sighed and sat next to Gavin, put her hand on his shoulder “We did what we have to do. We stopped him and that’s all that matters.” She laughed and thightened her grip around his shoulders “And I think we made a pretty good team, huh? Birdcop?” Gavin smiled back and picked up his phone to call other agents. They had to bring the man to STF and question him. “Ugh, I can imagine Victor’s grumpy, annoying, scolding face already.” she added. Gavin rolled his eyes “He can grump his ugly face to the hell.”

 “I’m not interrupting, am I?” a gracious, soft voice was heared behind them. “I have to take my man back, if you excuse me.” She snapped her fingers and five evolvers rushed to Ruby and Gavin even before they realized what’s happening. Ruby attempted to attack back but something was preveting her from moving. She felt every bone of her ache and her head about to blow up. This was unexpected. She kneeled and held her head between her hands, nose and eyes bleeding out “Stop it!” Gavin was trying to run to her to help but he was held back by the other evolvers. Ruby’s screams were making him angrier and his anger gave him more power to get away from their grip. He wanted to fight them back but his urge to help Ruby was overriding. “Ru-” he wanted to shout to let her know he’s with her but he was cut off by a brutal pain on his back. He felt the sharp metal being stabbed to his body. Ruby was still screaming “I swear I’ll rip you apart to shreds, Black! Stop it, now!” Gavin was on the ground, writhing in pain. But he still managed to reach for Ruby and whisper “Ruby...” he coughed blood “I’m here...” however, he couldn’t fight more. His eyes getting heavier and he lost himself completely when he felt one more stab, this time in his stomach. Ruby tembled down next to him. She had never expreinced that kind of pain for years and it was too hard to stand, even for her. The last thing she heared was the Black Queen’s low voice and touch on her face “You showed up from nowhere and thought you can replace my plan and me? If two ride on a horse, one must ride behind, my dear. I’ll send you to the pit you came from.” Ruby groaned in pain one last time, before she lost her consciousness just like Gavin “You... bitch. You’ll... regret that...”

 **************

 Ruby was lying on a hospital bed in STF building. She was asleep since that day, for around five or six days. It might be six years, it didn’t matter for Shaw. It was like ages for him. He wasn’t used to seeing her like that. Hurt, fragile, almost dead... He just wanted to grab her and run away from there but he knew she needed treatement. Also, he didn’t have much time since he got in the building secretly. It was about time the doctors come and check up on her. He pressed a soft kiss on Ruby’s cold lips, caressed her pale skin “You’ll be okay. I don’t know how she could harm you like this but I know you’ll be okay, soon...” then an other kiss, on her palm this time “Don’t worry. She’s taken care of and she’ll pay for it after you wake up. I know you’ll want to...” suddenly he heared footsteps coming outside the room. He collected himself and headed to the secret exit after whispering her ear one last time “I’m sorry for leaving you like this.”

 Then he disappeared.

 Victor, Youran, and Eli, who was pushing Gavin’s wheelchair came into the room. Gavin pouted in annoyance “I don’t need you to push me. Back off.” Eli patted his shoulder “Sure, bro. I’m sure you can.” he said japingly. Gavin woke up the other day but he still had major injuries and trouble to walk. He wanted to see if Ruby was okay as soon as he came to himself and seeing her like that shattered his heart. This was his third time visiting her and he still wasn’t used to it.

 Victor looked at Ruby’s body and the doctors’ notes “Are you sure she said she is immortal?” he said ‘immortal’ in a sassy tone. “I’m pretty sure she’s dead.” Youran pinched his arm “Victor! That’s so rude of you! You mustn’t talk like that!”

 “Yeah...” a low, raspy and tired voice rose “Fuck... you...”

 Youran jumped in happiness, clapping her hands “Ruby! You’re finally back!” Gavin was doing the same thing but inside. He was trying to keep his cool o the outside. He approached to the bed and called for the doctors “Hey! She’s awake, come and scheck her up!” He said “Welcome back.” in a sincere tone.

 Eli laughed, pointing his finger at Victor “Dude! You’re so annoying that she literally came back to life just to shut you up!” Victor sighed “You should be thankful.” The doctors came and examined Ruby. They ran some tests and everything looked fine as they said. She just needed some rest and a good meal.

 Ruby felt terrible when she saw Gavin sitting on a wheelchair. The Black Queen’s assault wasn’t planned at all. She just had to look like she was the head of Black Swan as Ruby was leading the organization in secret. Ruby’d never ignore that kind of disobey so it’d be hell for the Black Queen when Ruby got out of that bed. She’ll pay for getting in my way and also hurting him without my permisson, she told herself.

 Gavin noticed Ruby glancing at his wheelchair in worry and some kind of fury. He got closer to her bed and chuckled, he wanted to change her mood “I remember a certain someone telling me I’ll hurt myself but she’ll be fine, yet, that someone has been lying on a hospital bed for five days while I’m as fit as a fiddle.” “Yeah, yeah. Why don’t you...” she coughed for a few times, since she still needed some time to pull herself together “Why don’t you do a flip-flap, right now?” Gavin poured a glass of water and handed it to her “I can’t. I’m busy with giving you a glass of water and taking care of you.”

 Victor cleared his throat and gave Ruby some files “We have to talk if you’re done flirting.” Gavin blushed and that’s why his death stare at Victor wasn’t deadly at all, it was kinda cute actually.

 “You two used your powers openly, in public. That’s so irresponsible. Now everyone is talking about superpowers and it’s a matter of time for evolvers to come into the open and...” Victor’s scolding was interrupted by Ruby “We did whatever we had to do. We couldn’t just watch people get hurt and walk by them just to remain in the shadows. Yeah, they saw us using some kind of powers, so what? We can always deny it. And also, if you’re looking for someone to blame to satisfy your fragile ego, you can face me. It was me who attacked the man first. Gavin tried to stop me but I’m not gonna lie, Vicky, I regret nothing. We saved them while you were sitting on your leather seat and that’s all that matters.”

 Victor didn’t like her tone and careless words “You can’t say that i’m just standing there while you do all the work. The field is you area, not mine. I pay for things, I do the paperwork and I’m really good at my part of the job when in fact you caused a huge misunderstanding on your first mission at the hotel and put the evolvers in a dangerous position the day after...”

 “Shut the fuck up, or else...!” Gavin yelled at Victor, he couldn’t stand him disrespecting Ruby like that. Someone had to step in or they’d be on each other’s neck in seconds. Youran raised her voice “Hey! Calm down! Ruby needs some rest, not a useless fight over things we can not change!” Eli supported her “Yes, she’s right.  We gotta leave this room so she can put herself together.”

 Victor mumbled something and headed to the exit of the room but stopped at the corner, turned his head back “I thought you were too strong to get hurt. How come you got injured this serious?”

 “Excuse me?” Ruby asked.

 Victor get back in the room and repeated the question “How could she harm you this much? You have a weakness, what is it?”

Ruby pointed at the door and said “Get the fuck out of here. Bold of you to assume I’d share these kind of things with you.”

 Youran apologised on Victor’s behalf and left after him, so did Eli. Gavin and Ruby was all alone and nobody was talking. Ruby wanted to say something but a nurse came in the room to deliver them their meal. The nurse put Ruby’s tray on a little table and left after asking Gavin if he’s okay and took his medicine.

 Ruby didn’t realize her hunger untill she saw the delicios food the nurse brought. She wanted to put them right away but her hands were still shaky, that’s why she dropped the spoon when she reached for it. Gavin grabbed the spoon and cleaned it after pulling himself up and settling on the corner of Ruby’s bed. He took the tray and spooned the soup up, blowed on it “Here, let me.” he said before starting to feed Ruby. She had no objection for that kind of kindness. In fact, she liked him being all soft and helpful. Plus, he was blushing again so the view worthed watching.

 Gavin put the tray away after Ruby said she’s full. Victor’s question was still rooming around his head and he felt like it was time to ask it again “Victor always talks nonesense but he had a point this time. Really, how come she managed to hurt you like that?” Ruby arched her eyebrow and crossed her arms “Why you keep asking that? You plan to hurt me?” Gavin panicked and shook his head and hands “No, no. Never! I mean... It’s just curiosity. You don’t have to answer it if you’re...” Ruby laughed and patted his hand “Okay, okay. Calm down. I’ll tell you.” And that was her first mistake; getting too close with Gavin. Sharing each other’s weaknesses, laughters... They had no idea their sincerity would be their doom.

 “There’s a flower...” she continued “named tacca chantrieri.”

“Taco... what?” Gavin asked in confisuon.

“Not taco, silly. It’s tacca, tacca chantrieri. It’s like... I’m Superman and that flower is kryptonite. It weakens and hurts me. I thought I destroyed every one of them but I might have left one, I don’t know.”

“Oh. Sounds shitty. But thank you for trusting me. I promise I won’t tell anyone.”

 Then, they talked about stuff till Gavin fell asleep on his wheelchair. Ruby was tired tired too but she had something to do first. She knew Shaw’d be waiting to hear from her so she took her phone from the drawer and texted him under her blanket, hoping Gavin wouldn’t wake up for a while.

“Hi. I’m up.”

Shaw texted back in no time.

“Finally! When? How are you feeling?”

“It has been a couple of hours and I still feel a little dizzy but I’ll be fine in the morning. I just need some rest. Thank you.”

“Cool. I missed you.”

She ignored the second part.

“Where’s Black? Did you get her? I want to deal with her myself, as soon as I get out ouf this shit hole.”

“Worry not, babe. She’s already locked up with her fucking stooges. Waiting for your punishment.”

“Great. Anyways, we’ll be in touch. I gotta go now.”

 Gavin was snoring and his mouth was drilling. Ruby took a photo to make fun of him sometime, while fighting to keep her laughter back.

 They both were discharged the day after. Gavin wasn’t all happy, though. His wounds weren’t healed completely so he couldn’t ride Sparky. He pouted all the way long, till Eli left them home. Gavin headed upstairs but stopped when he realized Ruby wasn’t coming “Won’t you come home?” Ruby shook her head “Not now. I just need to relax a little. I’ll walk around to clear my head, okay?” “You always say you had things to de or clear your head and disappear. Where do you go? Are you seeing someone?” Gavin asked. “What do you mean? I won’t give an account of myself, Gavin.”

 Gavin sighed “Of course you don’t have to explain anything to me. I’m just curious.”

“You’re curious about many many things. I just want to be alone to put myself together, if you let me!”

“There’s nothing to get angry about right now, Ruby. I just asked. Stop overreacting. Fuck, forget it. I’ll be home if you want to stop by sometime.” Then he rushed upstairs in anger. She was getting angry over the simpliest things and it was too tiring for Gavin. He always had to choose his words carefully around her. Even if he did, Ruby could find something to get mad about.

 His phone rang when he was about to get in the shower. It was Victor. Victor’s voice was the last thing he wanted to hear at that moment but it might be important so he picked it up.

“Speak.”

“Where’s your manners, Gavin?”

“In your a... Ugh, nevermind. What do you want?”

“I want to treat you and Ruby a meal, tonight.”

That was unexpected.

“Why?” asked Gavin, surprised.

“We have to stop fighting each other if we want to fight others successfully. We’ll spend some time together to deal with our problems. But you gotta know that it’s Youran’s idea, not mine. So don’t think I’ll be looking for it. Come to Souvenir at 08.00 pm sharp.”

And then he just hung up on Gavin. Gavin tossed his phone to the couch and headed to the bathrom, mumbling himself “I hope we don’t get poisoned. Fuck them capitalists.”

***********

 Shaw was waiting for Ruby at the gate of BS Headquarters. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw her coming his way, walking confidently and looking beautiful as ever. He pulled her for a kiss as soon as she came to the gate. Her lips weren’t cold anymore and her warmth made him deepen the kiss as far as it gets. Ruby kissed him back since she was yearning for some intimacy, without knowing why. She tilted her head to give him a better access. His left hand was on her hips, slowly caressing the area while the other one was playing with her hair. Shaw hissed when Ruby bit his lower lip and pulled herself back. She pressed a light kiss on his neck and whispered “We have things to do.” Shaw returned the last kiss and led the way inside “However you want. Black is waiting in a cell downstairs.” She smirked “Lovely, but I want a meeting with you, Ares, Hades, Artemis and... is Helios here?” “No...” Shaw responded “He disappeared three years ago but he’ll show up sometime. He always does that.”

 They were all gathered in ten minutes. “It’s good to have you back, Red.” Ares said with a mischievous smirk on his stone cold yet handsome face “I’m sorry about Black’s behaviour. I’ll make sure there won’t be any disobedience like that, ever again.” Ruby seated herself and crossed her legs “You’d better do that, Ares. Or else I’ll need a new right-hand man. However, this is not what I want to talk about right now.”

“What’s the problem?” Hades said. Ruby leaned back “There isn’t any problem. I’ll just give you your new orders.”

“We’re all at your beck and call, my Queen.” Shaw said in excitement.

“Good. I want all of BS evolvers to head to the city and kick up some fuss by using their evol openly. I demand literal chaos caused by evolvers, if you know what I mean.”

“What should we do?” Artemis asked.

“I don’t know. Set a building on fire, or rob a bank. Do whatever you want.” She said and laughed “Oh, you should rob a bank actually. That might be fun!”

 Shaw got up and pulled out his phone “I have a friend who can get through the walls. He doesn’t work for BS but we’re really close so he can help us get in easier. Hahhaha, that’ll be legendary.”

 That was when Ruby’s smile disappeared. His words echoed in her head ‘I have a friend who can get through the walls.’ ‘...we’re really close...’

 She remembered the death of Charlise Walker, at the hotel. How someone get through him and make his body explode all over the room. How Shaw knew what happened even before she told him about it, and making an excuse about knowing everything goes in STF.

 Ruby was thinking about a possibilty she hoped that it wasn’t true. Maybe it was just a coincidence but she had to be sure.

 She rose from her seat and walked slowly towards Shaw “He can get through walls, huh?” Shaw nodded. “You’re really close so he can help you do whatever you want, huh?” She put her hand around his throat “Answer me, Shaw.” She said calmly. But Shaw knew she was not calm at all and that was when he realised he dropped a clanger. She started to choke him and leaned to his ear “Let me ask again, more clear this time. Have you ever asked that friend of yours to kill a man named Charlise Walker?”

Chapter Text

 Ruby was looking directly at Shaw’s amber eyes, where the unfortunate answer of her question lied. Her grip around Shaw’s neck slowly loosened and she turned to Ares and the others “Out.” She was trying her best to keep her voice steady but Shaw still could feel the dissapointment in her tone. “But we-“ Hades attempted to talk but Ares stopped him before Ruby kicked him out of the room.

 The room where Shaw and Ruby were left alone was all silent, the only thing that could be heared was Ruby’s shaky breath. She was facing him away and Shaw didn’t know where to start but he knew he had to say something. He had to tell her why he did what he did.

 “You already know the answer but let me explain the reason, first.” He expected her to go off the deep end, yell or at least break a couple of things but she was just standing still, crestfallen. So he kept talking “I wanted you to see behind their mask before you’re decieved by their fake sincerity.” He took a few steps towards her “I’m not gonna apologize for doing whatever best for you. You have to understand that I didn’t want to watch them using you. I wanted to protect you from their lies, empty promises. You belong here, not there.”

 She was still silent. At least, that was what  Shaw was seeing at that moment.

 She trusted Shaw with all her heart, even if they broke up. She never expected him to do something behind her back. She felt something aching in her chest. Was it her heart breaking? Or unbearable heaviness of her questionable, impulsive desicions? She was too confused and sad to decide what to feel, how to act.

 She knew she was different from the person who got locked up in an underground room for years, when she got out. She knew she wanted to be a better person because she wanted everyone that treated her like she was a monster to regret their behaviour. But her desire to prove them wrong lasted untill the events at the hotel happened, till she was triggered and decided not to change who she truly was. But what if... she asked herself.

 She thought about the possibilities if she didn’t begin her plan of revenge, if she didn’t return to Black Swan. Things might happen as Shaw thought, they could just use Ruby, never actually care about her. But there was still a possibilty that he could be wrong.

 She finally looked back at him with her teary eyes when he said “C’mon, say something. Chop my head off if you want but don’t you just stand there in silence.”

 “You stole my chance to finally live my life, make my own fucking desicions. You manipulated me into this shit!”

 “No!” he objected “I just wanted to open your eyes before it’s too late. Trust me, something like that would eventually happen.”

 She raised her voice “How could you know that?!” Shaw rolled his eyes and sighed “Because I know people! I know my brother and his friends, I know how STF works.” He reached for her and wiped the tears she couldn’t hold back “Believe me or not. Never talk to me again if that’ll relieve you but...” He paused for a moment, hesitating about his next sentence but continued when he realised it was a now or never situation “Look, I’m not gonna lie about it and you have to know that i’ve never lied to you before, expect the killing of that man. The thing is, I didn’t wait for you for years just to lose you again. Call me selfish or tell me I’m an ass, I don’t care. It is what it is. I just wanted to protect you and be with you again.” He stroked her soft hair “I do everything I do...” and her hands were on her wet cheeks “... because I fucking love you.” Then he whispered “Can’t you see what you’re doing to me?”

 Ruby removed his hands on her angrily and yelled at him “Stop using love as an excuse! I’m sick of it! I’m also fucking sick of everything and everyone trying to make me do something, make me feel something!” She walked up to him and pressed her finger on Shaw’s chest, he felt the area burning inside “From now on, don’t you dare poke your nose into my life! I’ll do whatever the fuck I desire to do! I don’t car*e about your intentions, just leave me be!” She lowered her voice before heading the exit “I forgive you this time but I’ll never forget this. I’ll never forget what you stole from me, Shaw.” Then, she slammed the door, leaving Shaw under his mountain of remorse.

 Ruby was walking to where Black was kept but her anger at Shaw was a bigger issue than Black’s disobedience. They both betrayed her and did things behind her back, hurt her in different ways but Shaw was someone she leaned on when Black was just a temerarious insect who didn’t mean anything to her. So, Ruby actually didn’t want to waste her time punishing that insect while she was feeling like herself was the one being punished for some reason. Still, Ruby knew she had to do something about Black to intimidate other organization member so something like this wouldn’t happen again.

 Ares saw Ruby standing in the middle of the hall and called for her “Red?” Ruby flinched and looked back at him, getting away from her thoughts “Yes?” Ares approached her and asked in his usual cold and calm voice “What happened back there?” She shook her hands and smiled “Nothing important. Don’t worry.” Ares raised his brow “I’m not worried. I just want to be sure there’s nothing to affect the plan. Your personal life doesn’t interest me, really.”

 She looked at his face and thought about their times at the BS labs, when Lucien was just a little kid. He was such a kind, clever, cute boy but they turned him into a cold hearted, shady person. Just like her. She couldn’t prevent herself from whispering “Look what they did to you, too. I’m sorry, I couldn’t protect you, Luci.” Lucien palmed his face “It’s Ares here. Get yourself together, you have to deal with Black right now.” She stepped back “No, not now. I have things to do. Keep her where she is, I’ll come back tomorrow and I swear I’ll beat the shit out of her.” Then she rushed out of the building, without hearing what Ares said.  

 Ruby looked around when she arrived city center. She looked at the screens and billboards on the walls of the buildings. People were still talking about the chaos from last week. Everyone talking about people with some kind of superpowers but there were ones that saying it was a punishment from God. She couldn’t hold back her laughter when she heared that.

 Then, a video playing caught her eye. There was a little girl, talking to reporters. Ruby got closer to the screen when she realized she was the same kid she saved from getting hit by a huge piece of metal. “Can you tell us exactly what happened?” a reporter asked and she answered her question “I lost mommy there and I didn’t know what to do and I saw something was coming when a woman held me.” She answered.

“Did you see her face?”

“I don’t remember but I remember she had red hair and a beautiful face. I thought she was an angel.”

“An angel?”

“Yes. She saved me.” and then her mother came on the screen “She saved my daughter. I’m so glad she was there. I don’t know whoever that woman is but if she watches this, I want her to know that I’m grateful to her. Thank you, thank you very much.” And then she hugged her daughter, crying in happiness.

 Ruby felt the same ache and heaviness in her chest.

 Then an other video started playing. There were people protesting and shouting slogans like “No room for super powers in Loveland!” “Get lost, freaks!” Evolvers were about to come into the open as Victor and Gavin precieved and that was what she was trying to do from the beginning but her small victory didn’t make her satisfied, not at all. Still, she knew it was too late to back down. Plus, a part of her was still angry at humans as much as she hated evolvers and that’s why the plan was still on the table.

 Ruby was all eyes and ears, observing people around her and found the perfect group of people when she got out of the stroe she bought a hat to cover her hair and half of her face. They were talking about the people with super powers. She quickly blended in and started to talk “They look dangerous.” A middle aged white man agreed with her “Yeah. If the rumours are true, I don’t want to see people bombing or flying around the city.” Ruby put her hand on the man’s shoulder and raised her voice “Right! What if they try to harm our children? Our loved ones? What if they rob our houses, banks? What if they attempt to damage us in different ways, how can we fight with them? We can’t compare to some kind of weird super powers! They have to be stopped before it’s too late!” And the group got more crowded, people were coming to listen to her while she was getting their blood up “We have to fight for our right to live a peaceful life in Loveland! This is our city and we have to protect it, whatever it costs!” And the crowd was all hyped up, yelling in hatred, when she finished her speech after a couple of more sentences of denigrating evolvers.

 Ruby thought she was feeling like herself again. That’s who you truly are, she whispered to herself. Don’t get distracted. You’re gonna turn this world upside down, that’s the only thing you’ll do and you’ll find peace at the end.

 She was all wrong, though. She was just too confused and broken to realise that. She wasn’t aware of her decisions were always the wrong ones and how close she was to the edge. She was about to go down with the same very world she wanted to destroy.

 She was thinking the heaviness on her chest will be gone eventually and she threw the hat away, with her complicated thoughts.

******

 Gavin was drinking his beer while listenning to some music, sitting on the couch. He called Ruby a couple of times but she didn’t answer any of his calls so he was kinda worried about her. He literally jumped from his seat when Ruby opened the door “Where were you?! You didn’t answer my calls!” Ruby laughed “Easy, tough guy. I was just strolling around. Miss me?” Then his outfit cought her eye “What’s with the suit? Have a date?” He rolled his eyes and sat back “Victor invited us to have dinner with him and Youran, in his restaurant.”

 Ruby sat right next to him, too close for comfort and Gavin moved a little further from her. She took his bottle of beer and had a sip “I don’t care. Tell him I’m dead or whatever comes up to your mind but I’m not getting out of this house tonight. I’m tired.” Then she put her head on his shoulder. Gavin was nervous and tried his best not to move so she wouldn’t be uncomfortable “No, you’re coming.” She had a sneaky laugh “Oh, make me, then.”

 Gavin sighed “Look, I don’t want to spend my evening with Victor, too. But we’re still doing it and I don’t have the energy to deal with your cheekiness. So, please wear the dress I bought for you and we’ll leave in thirthy minutes.”

 Ruby clapped her hands and got up “Oooh, you bought a dress for me! Where!” Gavin first thought she was really excited about it but realized she was just being sassy when she sat back and closed her eyes. He grabbed the box and put it on her lap “Here’s the deal. If you wear it and be nice tonight, I’ll let you drive Sparky once.” He had to say no more. Ruby held the box and rushed to the bathroom to get ready and she was all set just in ten minutes.

 It was a black mini dress that covered her body in a beautiful way. Even though being a simple one, the dress was looking like the most elegant outfit on her. Gavin smirked and asked “You liked it? I’m not good at fashion but..” She grabbed her purse and took his arm “It’s nice, thanks. So when will you give Sparky’s keys to me?”

 Youran was waiting for them at the door and waved her hands in excitement when she saw Ruby and Gavin coming. She called for Victor “Vic! They’re here, come and say welcome!” Victor rolled his eyes “We won’t dine with some royalty. Relax a little.” “You promised you’ll be nice tonight, Victor.” He kissed Youran’s pout away and put his hand around her waist “I am nice. I just stated some facts, dear.”

 Ruby looked around the restaurant before sitting on the table. Unlike Gavin, she was really interested. “You don’t need to run a place like this for money, what’s your motivation?” He wanted to say ‘none of your business’ he knew Youran’d be mad so he just kept serving them and said “Let’s just say it’s a hobby of mine. Wine?”  Ruby finally joined them “It’s a nice place, I like it.” Victor wasn’t expecting her to compliment his restaurant, he gave her a smile and a nod.

 They talked about stuff during the meal, actually they were having a pretty good time and they kept drinking and drinking after their food was finished. Victor didn’t want Youran to have alcohol but couldn’t stand Ruby’s protests and eventually let her have some, it was a huge mistake, though. She puked all of a sudden and that made Victor literally mad. “I told you!” he was scolding her while cleaning her clothes. He was getting angrier as Youran was laughing at him. That was when Ruby and Gavin finally decided to leave. They excused themself after thankig Youran and Victor for the meal and left them behind.

 In fact, they were not in a better state than Youran.

 Ruby sat on a bank “Gabbieee! I’m tired, let’s sit here a little.” Gavin stopped walking and turned back, his steps were a little messy “We’ve just started walking.” She pouted “I don’t care. Me tired, you tired, so we sit.” Gavin didn’t protest since he was dizzy, too.

 They sat at the bank for a while and Gavin came up with the brightest idea “Remember the place I told you about? The one with a great night view? Let’s walk there! We could sober up while walking and trust me, it’s a beautiful sight.” “Can we get some beers on the road?” she asked slowly. Gavin helped her get up and declined her request “No, we’re getting some water and coffee. We have to sober up. I won’t carry you there.” She sighed “Yeah, whatever.”

 They walked for around twenty minutes and Ruby asked if they were there yet in every twenty seconds. Gavin stopped answering the questions after a while but she kept asking till they finally arrive a place on a hill. There were no lights, only some flowers and green grass. She pouted again “What? Is this it? We could see the same flowers in the park! You made me walk for literally hours and climb a hill just to...” Gavin hushed her and tilted her head other way “You’re looking at the wrong direction, idiot.” And she was literally out of words when she saw the sight beneath her. The sky was full of stars and it was a full moon. She mumbled in astonishment “Wow. It’s beautiful.” Gavin gave himself a mental pat and smirked “Told you.”

 Then they lied on the grass, looking up in silence. A light breeze caressing their bodies. Ruby took a deep breath “You come here often?” Gavin nodded “Yeah. I don’t have much time to come here very often, though. I like stargazing and also the sight of the stars make me dream.”

 “Cool but I think the Moon is more beautiful than the stars.” Gavin looked at her face questioningly, while she was still watching the Moon “Why?”

 “I don’t know. I just... she’s so lonely, I feel bad for her.  Also, she dosen’t have her own light. She actually lives in her darkness while we admire how bright and beautiful, powerful she looks. I mean yeah... stars look cute but they are all the same. Plus, stars come and go. They all eventually die one day. But the Moon’ll always be there, circling around. Always in the same place but still lost.”

 There was silence again. Gavin could feel how broken she was at that moment and he knew she was actually talking about herself without realizing it.

 He suddenly got up and reached for still lying Ruby “C’mon. Let’s fly. It’ll be fun, trust me.” But Ruby didn’t look interested “Nope, thank you. I’m fine.” He sighed “I’ll break my tooth if you just do as I say for once without giving me a hard time. You left me no choice, Red.” Then he grabbed her and raised from the ground. Ruby yelled at him angrily “I told you I was fine. I just wanted to relax a little!” He ignored her grumpiness “Be careful.” Then he slowly released her but something inside him was telling him to hold her even tighter. Ruby liked flying, too. As much as Gavin did, but it was a long time ago. She didn’t know what made her happy anymore.

 They locked eyes for a moment while soaring in the air and Ruby asked “You said the stars made you dream. What do you dream of?” He paused for a moment before giving her an answer “That’s personal.” She whispered “Boring.” and everything happened in the blink of an eye.

 Ruby stopped flying and started to fall down fast. She opened her arms, closed eyes. She was feeking the peace of finally letting something go, while getting closer to the ground.

 “No!” Gavin shouted and rushed behind her back but she was too fast for him to catch. “Stop! Stop it! You’re gonna hurt yourself!”

 She ignored him.

 But she couldn’t ignore her feelings. She thought about Shaw, Lucien, the little girl she saved. It was too much to handle all these feelings at once. She wished there was a way to end it all.

 Suddenly, she found herself in a warm embrace, they were rising up again. Gavin finally caught her, and hugged her so tight, she felt like her rib breaking. He was out of breath and his heart was about to beat out from his chest. He wanted to scold her about being so reckless but he was aware there was no use of it. So he just tightened the hug, buried his face to her nape. Whispered “Why did you do this? You scared the shit out of me.”

 They were still in the air, the wind was breezing harder.

 “I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel something different than anger, hatred, remorse and sadness.”

 Ruby looked up Gavin’s face, directly at his tender eyes “I wanted to do something without thinking. I wanted to feel free. Do you understand me, Gavin? When was the last time you did something just because you wanted to, just because it felt right?”

 He didn’t know the answer but he did know what felt right at that moment. He leaned closer to her face, closed his eyes and pressed a light kiss on the corner of her lips. It was so soft, Ruby thought it was a dream. But then, it felt so real when he moved on her lips, harder this time.

 It was the most passionate kiss Ruby ever had. The most sincere one at the same time.

 Gavin pulled himself back and smiled while looking at her already swollen lips. “Is this okay?” he asked, admiring the sight. Ruby gave her answer by getting closer to him and sucking his bottom lip into her mouth, folding her arms around his neck.

 They were slowly landing on the ground but their lips didn’t get parted for a second. They wanted more, they needed more. They were both yearning for something only they can give each other.

 Gavin slowly laid Ruby on the ground, kissing the nape of her neck. Her hands on his hair and back, while his hands sliding along the contours of her body. She let out a quiet moan when he moved his hand to her chest and started stroking her tits gently, over her thin dress.

  “I won’t...let you feel...lonely and lost like that...ever again.” He said breathlessly, between kisses.

  Maybe it was the alcohol or something else but it was the first time he was so open about his feelings and he knew he won’t regret it.

 He got the reassurance he was waiting for when Ruby hooked her legs around his waist and that was when he moved his lips down to her breasts, slowly lowering the straps of her dress. He was looking directly at her eyes while licking and sucking her hardened nipples, gently.

 Gavin pulled himself back and Ruby whined to sudden lost of connection but she put on a cheeky smirk when she saw him unbuttoning his shirt. She didn’t have much time to admire his well built body,though. Because he was on her again in no time. He groaned while kissing her lips again when he felt her hand slowly stroking his hardness.

 The sight of him licking his lips before going down on her made Ruby open her legs wider. He hiked her dress up and smiled when he saw her slightly wet panties. He wanted to tease her a little, to get the revenge of all the teasing he had been through since the day they met. He caressed the area over her underwear and Ruby hissed in desire. Soft, little sounds she made were sending some kind of electricty to his hardness and his eyes changed from tender to dangerously famished.

 He finally get rid of her panties and leaned to her core, parted her lips, licked a long stripe up her wetness and the warmth of his mouth caused her to arch her back in pleasure. She pressed his head harder to herself while his humming was mixed with the sloppy sounds his tongue made, circling around her clit. Then he put his middle finger in, causing Ruby to let out a load moan and whimper. She was driven mad when she felt his fingers inside her one by one.

 “Enough!” Ruby grunted and pulled his head and hands back. Gavin was surprised by the unexpected protest. He wanted to ask what was wrong after wiping her mouth and chin with the back of his hand but he couldn’t have the chance. Ruby climbed on the top and pinned his wrists above his head “What the-“ he attempted to talk but Ruby swallowed his words, tasting herself from his soft lips. “Stay still.” She ordered.

 She zipped his pants and palmed his already throbbing hardness, traced the outline of his buldge “Let me hear your voice and don’t you dare to come before I tell you so.” She said in a sharp voice.

 He tried to reach for her but Ruby slapped his hands “I told you to...” she leaned her head and bit his shoulder  “...stay...” then she put her hands around her throat and thigtened her hands “...still. Or else you’re not getting anything tonight. Am I clear?” Gavin flinged his head back and Ruby’s grip got harder “I can’t hear you, Gavin.”

 “As you wish.” He said in a raspy voice, breathlessly.

 She smirked at him “Good boy.”

 And then she kissed her way down to his abdomen, slowly pulling down his boxers. He hissed at the cool air hitting his bare skin. She stroked his slightly upward curved and avarage girthed dick a few times, before placing it on her entrance. She just moved it upside down for a while, teasing herself but mostly Gavin. He clenched his teeth “Fuck... Ruby...” he closed his eyes in ectasy. He was looking so needy, Ruby could watch that sight for hours. “What?” she said mischievously “You want something?”

 She let the tip of his cock in for a second but pushed it back right away. He gulped misreably. She did the same thing over again “I can’t give you what you want if you don’t tell me what you desire, Gavin.” He was getting harder every time he heared his name from her rosy lips “I...desire...you.” He panted “You’re the only thing I want.” Then, she pressed a kiss on the nape of his neck before placing herself on the right spot to let him in completely “Sure.”

 “Shit!” Gavin shivered when he felt her tight folds around his throbbing cock. She moved herself slowly and Gavin was trying his best not to touch her thighs or ass. Yet, it was getting challenging for him to hold himself back as she got faster and harder. He was trembling and melting everytime she bounced on him.

 “Let me move or at least touch you!” he begged. “Are you close?” she asked, because she already was. “Yes, oh, fuck! Yes, I fucking am close!” he cried out. Ruby smiled and put his hands on her ass “You have the permisson, then.” Gavin started moving his hips up and down even without waiting for her to finish her sentence. Arms around her neck, pulling her in a deep, passionate kiss.

 And then, they both came at the same time, feeling like the stars in the sky were now spinning beneath them.

 Ruby buried her head on the nape of Gavin’s neck, trying to steady her heavy breath. She felt a warm breeze caressing her tired body. Gavin brushed her hair with his fingertips and whispered after giving her a final kiss on the cheek “From now on, share your burden with me, okay?”

“I have nothing to carry and that’s my burden, Gavin.”

“You have me now.”

Chapter Text

 Beep.

  “Hey. It’s been two fucking weeks since you came to BS for the last time. You have to be here, babe. You know your responsibilites. Helios is back, by the way. He’s waiting for your orders with the rest of the organization. It’s time for our next move. And...”

 A deep, slow breath.

  “...I miss you.”

 He paused for a moment to decide what to say, even if he already know this message will never be listened, just like the other hundreds of voicemails he left since that day.

 “I have to see you. I swear I’ll make everything right if you give me a chance.”

 Silence.

 “I’m sorry, and I love you.”

 As someone said before; love is a funny thing. You expect it to be easy. You expect it to be a world of roses and laughters and perfect, sincere moments that you can only find in movies or books. You expect so much that you feel entirely, and utterly defeated when something doesn’t exactly match up with all your plans. But that’s the thing, love isn’t a plan. It doesn’t have a certain beginning and it certainly has no end or visible finish line to those deeply in it. Love happens, it’s just so incredibly messy.

 Shaw tossed his phone to the couch after the beeping sound that ended the voicemail. He called for the naked woman, sleeping in his bed “Wake up, you gotta leave. I’m busy today.” She opened her eyes slowly, moving the black hair strands from her face “You can’t watch her and her boyfriend everyday, in secret. That’s creepy, Shaw.” She said in a raspy voice and then patted the pillow next to her, smirking “Are you down for a little morning fun? Or...” she removed the blanket covering her body and faked a pout “... are you too sad about losing the woman you loved and saved from a pit, to your lame brother so you don’t want to do anything but cry?” Her mocking words were making Shaw’s blood boil because she was right. Seeing Gavin and Ruby together was making him so upset, he didn’t know how to act, what to do with the heartbreak of his. He was just watching Ruby from far away, waiting for her to come back or at least answer his calls and texts. He knew she was mad at him like hell, so he didn’t have the courage to go knock on her door. He wasn’t afraid of to get hurt by her, he was just afraid of losing her for real and that was why he was distant.

 Shaw walked back to the bed and kneeled, they were face to face “Look, Artemis. Stop prying into the things that doesn’t interest you...” He got closer to her, till their lips almost brushed each other “Or else...” then he pulled Artemis into a rough kiss which lacked passion and sincerity “I will hurt you so bad... You can be assured it’ll be far from pleasurable, unlike these nights we spent together.”  He said before going out, slamming the door after himself.

 ********

 The Sun was brushing her face and there was a calm, relaxing breeze coming from the window when Ruby finally woke up from her deep sleep. Her nights were becoming more and more peaceful everyday so she could finally sleep the night through. She opened her eyes, expecting to see Gavin’s sleepy face but the other side of the bed was empty and cold. She pouted and then reached for her phone that she hid under her pillow so Gavin couldn’t see the range of texts and calls from his brother.

 She rolled her eyes to the screen. 34 new calls since last night, 18 new voicemails.

 Ruby knew she had to go back to BS and Shaw but she just didn’t want to leave Gavin even for a couple of hours. She liked their simple breakfasts in the morning, fighting with the mess she created with her own hands during the day, their late night talks, intimate moments. Gavin gave her the peace she was looking for but couldn’t find anywhere and it was just two weeks. The night they spent together under the Moon did something to her, even if she couldn’t put a finger on it. Yes, sex with Gavin was quite satisfying and full of pleasure but there was something else about that night. Maybe it was his sweet words, sincere looks, his thight embrace around her when she let herself go.

 Ruby was smiling unwittingly.

 She yawned and put her phone back but the screen lighted when she was getting up. She sighed and opened the text from Shaw.

 “I know you won’t listen the last voicemail I sent but hear me out. Helios is back. I made him come back. You wanted him, right? He is useful? Come see him tonight.”

Her smile was gone and her face turned into a serious, thinking expression. Her two weeks break had to be finished and she had to return to the reality where there were only darkness, lies and betrayal. But it was her reality even if she hated it. Even if her heart was sinking everytime Gavin smiled at her, without knowing what she is doing behind the curtains.

 She wished there was a way to back down, a way to let BS and her revenge plan go but it was too late and she really wanted the cure, she needed it. She could still protect Gavin, though. She’d be sure he won’t be harmed, she promised to herself.

 The sound of Gavin clearing his throat made Ruby come back from her thoughts “What’s with the look? Did something happen?” he asked softly, pressing a light kiss on her forehead. She closed her eyes and pouted “No. I just checked the weather and it’ll be rainy today. I thought we could walk around a little but looks like we’ll be home today.”

 Gavin scratched the nape of his neck “Actually no, we can’t stay at home today.”

 “Why?”

 “I made breakfast but we gotta leave after eating. Looks like BS is working overtime and the people of Loveland is determined to fight back. A huge incident happened at night. Eli and other agents took it under control but we have to take a look, too. Council’ll be gathered after that. We have to plan our next move, you know. Everybody is talking about evolvers and it’s obvious we’re not wanted around here but...”

 She sighed and put her hand on Gavin’s mouth to shut him up “Shhh. Okay, okay. Let me take a shower before saving the world again.” Then she got in the bathroom but didn’t close the door behind her back “You can join me if you want, Gabbie.”

 His eyes were out on stalks and he ran into the bathroom with some blush on his cheeks.

“We don’t have much time, though...” he said after removing his clothes and whispered to her between kisses, under the already pouring water “We really...really have to go...even if I just want to... spend some time with you... and just you.”

 Ruby smirked, stroking his wet hair “Oh, I don’t think you need that much time. Remember last night?”

 Gavin rolled his eyes and propped her against the wall, hands on her waist and ass, touching the area with his fingertips gently and voice still low “It was just one time, you know that.”

  She laughed “Was it?”

 Gavin was sucking her neck skin into his mouth, making sure there’ll be hickeys there. His hand making its way down “It was. However, we have a bigger issue here, baby.” Calloused fingers slowly getting closer to the area she wanted him to be the most, causing her to whimper slightly “Yeah? What’s it?

  He was caressing her pussy gently after lifting one of her legs up and wrapping it around his waist, lips brushing each other “I think you’re getting cheekier and cheekier day by day...”

  Then he put his one finger inside her, moving it slowly. Then two, three. Her little moans sending signals to his already hardened dick “And I think your cheekines and sass have to be handled.” He growled sensually.

  Ruby palmed his dick and started to stroke the tip with her thumb “You can’t tame me, Gavin. I get what I want...” Her hand was moving up and down, making Gavin gasp sharply “...when I want.”

  He bit back a moan, head buried on Ruby’s naked, wet shoulder “I don’t think so.” He murmured heatedly. Then he held her hand and removed it from his cock, much to her surprise. Actually, he wanted her to continue what she was doing. He wanted her in every way possible but it was his turn to tease, teach a lesson, in fact.

 Gavin leaned closer to her ear and whispered “Take your shower and then come to the kitchen. We’re leaving after breakfast.” Then he got out the cabin, wrapping a towel around his waist, even if his cock telling him to go back to her. Ruby rolled her eyes and reached for the shampoo “Two can play this game, Gavin.”

*******

 It was a pretty tiring and busy afternoon. People of Loveland were angry, evolvers were angrier. Humans were seeing them as threats who had to be taken under control and for evolvers, humans were just simple weaklings who didn’t let them just live as they did before. They were afraid of evolvers’ powers and they should be.

 “A war is coming.” Victor said, handing the Council members some papers. There were footages showing people fighting, fire, earthquake, robbery, murders... It was a horrible sight, even Ruby made a wry face.

 “That’s probably what BS is after.” He continued “They are setting humans against evolvers, their own kind, but I don’t know what they want to achieve with it.” He looked at Ruby “You were with Black Swan before, right? You know how they think. Do you have any idea?”

 Oh, you naive baby. She thought and smiled inside but on the outside she looked confused like others “I have no idea. I mean, I know they always desired a world with just evolvers, cleaned from normal people. However, I don’t know what’s with pitting the two sides against each other. That’s not good for the people but it’s harmful for evolvers, too.”

 Gavin narrowed his brows, still looking at the papers “Whatever is it, we can’t let them. We won’t.”

 “Then, what’s the plan? I gotta say that the STF prison is already full. We have no more place to put guilty evolvers.”  Eli asked before Youran jumped in.

 “We have to speak up. Words are strgonger than the fists.” She said. “Miracle Finder might be helpful.”

 A different voice was finally heared. Ann, an other Coincil member was speaking “She’s right. Television affects people, they always listen whoever is talking. We can explain everything. We can tell them evolvers are not the thread. We can expose Black Swan.”

 Mentioning about exposing Black Swan tensed Ruby. She wouldn’t let that happen, she couldn’t, not now. Black Swan would go down with the rest but there was a time for it. She rose from her chair  “Let me talk in the show.”

 “No way.” Gavin opposed. “You’re not ready for it.”

 Then Ruby looked at his direction with a questionning, serious face “Why? I can do it. I’m good at talking to people when it’s necessary, trust me.”

 “I can do it.” Victor offered himself but Ruby shook her head “Nope. I mean, yes you can do it but think about your situation. You’re one of the most favourite businessmen across the globe. People might get against you and we can’t afford that. We need you to stay in your exact position. We need your power behind the curtains, understand? But me, I have you guys with me and that’s all I have. People can’t hurt me in other way. Plus, I am the first Queen ever and all the evolvers are my descendants. I know everything about anything. Do I need to say more? Just let me talk on the show.” She looked at Gavin’s worried eyes “Alright?” He nodded, unwillingly.

 Ruby hoped the sincerity for her in Gavin’s eyes’d never fade away but she knew she was on thin ice. She was a great liar but it hurt so much lying to him. She hoped again, she hoped that Gavin’d understand her reasons when he found out what she is up to. She knew he’ll find out one day, one way or another.

 The Council was dismissed after they talked about the details of the show and other topics about the situation. Things were not good but they believed they could fix it even though they knew nothing’d be the same anymore.

 Gavin and Ruby walked out of the building in silence. Ruby was aware something’s bothering Gavin and it was the show. She touched his shoulder slowly to stop him “C’mon, Gabbie. It’s not a big deal. I can do it. Get rid of that grumpy face, please.” Gavin got closer to her and slowly pulled her to himself by grabbing her waist “I know you can do it. I’m just concerned that... I mean... I just care about you, like, a lot. And...” He pressed a soft kiss on her cheek “I know they’ll say things to you, bad things. And I don’t want to see you sad anymore, or angry. I know it’s not that possible in this situation but I’m trying my best. Maybe Ann should talk on the show, she’s good at things like that. Or maybe Youran...”

 Ruby silenced him with a hug “Thank you for your concerns but... You’re going on a mission in an hour and won’t be back for two days, it’s your duty and I’ll talk to people on TV because that’s my duty. Besides, even though I’m worried that you might get hurt during the mission, I can’t stop you, just ike you can’t stop me. Got it?” Gavin sighed and smiled before pulling her foe a kiss on the lips “You really are something, ha? Alright, then. I’ll drop you home and then catch up with Eli. We can grab some food on the way.”

 Ruby watched him leaving with Sparky, from the window. She took a deep breath and left home after he disappeared. A familiar voice made her jump when she was closing the door “Long time no see, sweetcheeks.” He said while pushing her back inside.

 “What the fuck are you doing, Shaw?” she yelled at him.

  He seated himself on the couch, totally ignoring Ruby’s death glares “I don’t know, you tell me what the fuck are you doing, first. It’s been two fucking weeks, Ruby. Fourteen days and you didn’t come to BS, you didn’t even answered your phone. Oh, and don’t get me started about your relationship with Gavin!”

 She sat on the other couch, rolled her eyes “I was going to BS when you got in my way, Shawty. I have news and you have new orders. Besides, I didn’t visit for two weeks because it wasn’t necessary and you know why I didn’t answer your calls.”

 He was dipping his nails to the couch to prevent himself from doing some stupid thing but he was so angry, so broken, so sad... “I know what I did but did you have to fuck my brother?” he said between his clenched teeth.

 “Get over with it.”

 “You promised me. You said we’ll get back together after all this shit.”

 Ruby laughed and her laughter was literally stabbing him on his chest “That deal is off the table, Shaw. You tricked me into this mess so you won’t be rewarded for that.”

  Shaw shook his head “Yeah, you think so. You’ll give me what you promised me, babe. I didn’t rip his ugly head off yet because I’m hanging onto that very promise. I’m doing all these shits because I know you’ll come to me in the end.”

 Ruby slowly rose from her chair and got closer to Shaw “You keep forgetting who I am. It’s time to make you fucking remember!” She grabbed him by the collar and threw him to the wall “You won’t touch him!”

 He got back up immidately “I won’t tolerate this shit anymore!” and reached for his inner pocket, took out a small box. “You know what’s in it?” then he opened it before Ruby could make a move “The flower. I don’t care if it hurts you...” he said between Ruby’s painful screams “Are you ready to listem to me now?”

 Shaw closed her mouth to supress her cryings but she was still writhing in pain and blood on Shaw’s lap. “Shhh...” he said “I don’t want to hurt you, you know that. But you have to stop pushing my fucking buttons.”

*****

 Gavin was standing in the middle of a desserted land, tensely. Looking directly at to the road. The person he was waiting for already late. He took out his phone to give him a rang but he stopped when some footsteps were heared behind his back. “Hello, Agent Bai.”

 A silver haired, blue eyed handsome man with tattoos on his body was standing there, in all black.

 Gavin looked at him “I hope you have some useful, good news that worth my waiting, Helios.”

 Helios smirked “Oh, I indeed have some useful news but I’m not sure they’re good. Far from good, especially for you.”

 Gavin arched his brows “Spit it out. I’m kinda in a hurry.”

 “What’s the rush? You want to run back to your girlfriend? You think she’s waiting for you at home?”

 “What do you mean?”

 “What I mean is, officer, you’re all decieved. Ruby, the Red Queen, is directing the Black Swan herself, behind your back, and you’re just a pawn she used.”

Chapter Text

    Gavin paused for a minute, brows narrowed, arms crossed. He didn’t know what to say, how to react. He cleared his throat and asked, even if deep down he knew the truth, he hoped he misheard Helios or he was wrong  “Listen to yourself. I don’t believe this shit.”

   Helios clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes. He didn’t have time for that kind of drama. He wanted to take action as soon as possible and put an end to that mess. “Why would I lie, Gavin? We’re on the same side. I can prove what I said but I don’t need to. Just stop being naive.”

   Gavin literally growled at him “I’m not naive. I’m just questioning. Don’t expect me to believe this kind of information, right away. C’mon, prove it. Show me how Ruby is involved in Black Swan’s business  and I’ll do whatever has to be done about her.”

   Helios sighed and put his phone out of his pocket. He scrolled through a couple of videos and stopped when he found the one he was looking for. “So you decided to question things now? Have you ever questioned Ruby about what she does in her free time? Also I think you didn’t understand me but Ruby is not involved in Black Swan’s business, she’s the one who plans business. ” He played the video and handed the phone to Gavin.

   It was a security footage inside a dark, crowded hall. There were people standing in an order and then the door was opened slowly. A familiar figure came in. Gavin blinked a few times, hoping he was seeing wrong but it was obvious, that familiar figure was no other than Ruby. The very woman who came into his life out of nowhere and changed it completely in a really short time. The very woman that literally ravished him, blinded him. He watched Ruby walking through the hall, the crowd kneeling to her and it was enough for Gavin to finally accept the truth. He paused the video and looked at her face. It was the same face he kissed a couple of hours ago. It was the same eyes that mesmerised him. He looked at the lips that only spoke lies and took a deep breath “I see.” It was the only thing he could speak even though he had much to say.

   “Told you. I think it’s time for us to plan our move if you’re done being suspicious of my information.” Helios said with a sassy tone.

   Gavin didn’t give Helios his phone back and put it into his jacket “I’m keeping this and it’s not time for us to plan the next move. I’ll deal with this in my own way and you’re not telling anyone about it.”

   Helios didn’t quite like the answer he got. “This is not a personal matter, Agent Bai. It has to be handled and it has to be handled now.”

   “I didn’t say it won’t be handled. We won’t reveal this, that’s it. We can play this game just like she does, trust me. I’ll be in touch.” And then, Gavin turned his back and left Helios behind, ignoring his threats “You better know what you’re doing, Agent Bai. Or else, I swear I’ll deal with her in MY own way!”

   Eli was waiting for him where they left the car but Gavin wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. He needed to clear his thoughts first. He needed to breathe because he was feeling like suffocated by the things Helios revealed to him. So, he just sat on a rock, head between his trembling hands, heart beating like hell.

   He saw Ruby’s beautiful face he loved to watch so much when he closed his eyes. The first time when he saw her on the road; her sleeping face when he put her on a bed at STF; the look in her eyes when they were at the backyard, when he embraced her and promised to help her and the same very embrace when they were flying under the moon after she let herself go. He felt like an idiot when he realized how he believed her yet something was off. He knew he was tricked, lied to, decieved but still, he knew what he felt, too, despite trying so hard to ignore it. He fell for a betrayer, a liar, a villian to be honest but the heart wants what it wants... So he kept sitting there, trying to calm himself down but that night, Loveland witnessed the most horrific hurricane of its history.

***************

            It was a cold, dark and small room where Ruby opened her eyes, and it felt quite familiar. She moaned in pain when she tried to get up and look around. She was still dizzy and her vision was blurry. She rubbed her eyes and tried to see her surroundings and bursted out when she finally recognised the room.

            It was the room.

            Her prison. The cave she was locked up in for years.

            She felt the same coldness barking her skin, the same darkness blinding her.

            Ruby ran to the door, shouted while pummeling it “Hey! Is there anyone out there! Let me out! Let me out!” but there was no answer. She kept screaming for awhile but there was no use of it so she finally stopped and crouched down breathlessly. She leaned to the door and whispered with a shaky voice “Let me out. Please. Shaw, are you there?”

            It was the last place she wanted to be in. She couldn’t even look at the room so she closed her face, sobbing.

            She heard the door behind her being unlocked.

            “I am here.” a whisper form someone she was relieved to hear from, yet she was annoyed by.

            The door was opened slowly “First things first I gotta say that bringing you here was Black Queen’s idea, not mine.” Shaw said.

            “I do not fucking care! I’m out of here!” Ruby grumbled and attempted to walk out of the room but she was stopped. Shaw grabbed her wrist and pulled her back “Not so fast. We’ll talk first.” Ruby shook her hands ot of his grip “Ooh, we’ll definetly talk. We’ll talk about how you treated me back at home. How you crossed the fucking line...” she leaned to his ear “I’ll fucking choke you with that line. Hear me? But not here.”

            Shaw bursted into laughter “I love when you act all mighty and scary like that! Believe me, I do. But...” he put out the same box he used at home from his pocket “We’ll talk here, in this very room. I’ll talk and you’ll listen, in fact. Or else...”

            Ruby gulped and looked at the box in dismay, still trying to put up a brave face “Come heavy or don’t come at all, Shawty. You don’t scare me. You just disgust me.”

            Her last sentence shattered Shaw’s heart. He didn’t want her to be disgusted by him. He just wanted her to love him again. He still smirked “Maybe I don’t scare you but this room does, this fucking flower does. You’re terrified, right? You hate being here. Your heart is about to stop, right?”

            Ruby didn’t answer him.

            Shaw stroked her hair “Now, be a good girl and head back in the room.” She didn’t even move and mumbled “No way.”  Shaw rolled his eyes and shook the box “Don’t make me use it again. You know I don’t want to hurt you.”

            Ruby finally accepted the defeat and headed back in silence. She was feeling like the weakest person walked on earth when she sat back the bed she woke up on a few minutes ago and Shaw sat next to her. She moved a little to put some distance between them. Shaw whispered “Do I really disgust you?”

            Ruby was staring at her trembling feet. She didn’t have the courage to look at any other thing. Every object was remending her a different bad memory and she left Shaw’s question unanswered while she was fighting her urge to scream and shout.

            “I see.” Shaw said. “I hope this doesn’t last long, then. I can’t stand seeing those eyes look at me like that. I miss them when they were full of warmth and sincerity.”

            “It was a long time ago.”

            “Maybe, but I still remember every detail about how you loved me so it doesn’t feel so far.”

            “Get the fuck over it.”

            “I won’t. I can’t, you know that.” He took a deep breath and put his hand on her hand “Sorry for my behavior back at home but... I couldn’t help myself and I had to bring you here. You know, orders.”

            Ruby laughed in disappointment “So now you take orders from Black?”

            “Ares, actually. Things happened today and Ares decided to take everything under his control from now on.”

            She was surprised and relieved at the same time. She felt like she found a way out of BS and she had no objections about that. “Really? Why?” The thought about not to be obliged to lie to Gavin anymore made her happy.

            “You don’t look angry about that.” Shaw asked. “But the reason is, you’re not a good leader for BS. You abandoned us and ignored your responsibilities.”

            She smiled “Whoopsies. I couldn’t care less about that. Okay, you can shove your fucking organization into your asses. May I leave now?” Shaw shook his head “Ooh, you’re not going anywhere. I’m not done and I didn’t say you are out of BS.”

            “What do you mean?”

            Shaw stood up and took a couple of steps, then looked back. His mood was suddenly changed. His face was a different kind of angry and the expression made Ruby shiver “You thought we wouldn’t find out?”

            “Find out what?”

            “You lied to us about your plan! We know you wanted to harm evolvers along with the humans!”

            Ruby was literally frozen and out of words. She hadn’t talked to anyone about her plan, how come they found out?

            “What? Cat got your tongue?” Shaw asked. “You betrayed your own kind. Why? Just tell me why. I’m not mad at you about this, I have other reasons to be mad at you so just tell me why.”

            Ruby stood up and clenched her teeth “Because I was enslaved by humans since my chilhood and locked up here by evolvers! So don’t mind if I make a fuss about it a little and want to make them pay!”

            She had a point, Shaw knew that. Still, she went too far and put everybody in danger. Also, left him and got closer to his brother in the process, which was a bigger issue for Shaw. “What about Gavin? Why him, not me? What did he give you that I didn’t? Answer this and I’ll have some final words, then we’ll be out of here.”

            Ruby didn’t know the answer. She didn’t know why and how she fell for Gavin this fast and easy. She wasn’t even certain about what she was looking for but she found it. She found it in Gavin’s arms and that was enough for her. She didn’t need a reason to love him and she realized she loved Gavin when Shaw asked that question.

            “You wouldn’t understand, Shaw. You can’t. Even I don’t understand so let it go. We’re done and we’re never ever getting back together.” She said, averting her gaze.

            Shaw clicked his tongue and smiled “Yeah, we will see about that, sweetcheeks.” He was determined to win her back and had no intentions to lose his hope till the end of the line. “Anyways. Now, you have some orders from Ares.”

            Ruby laughed “Bold of you to assume I take orders from anyone.”

            “You will.”

            “And how do you plan to make me do it, Shawty? You can keep me here but I can get out, I can find a way. Haha, God help you if you oppose me. I swear I’ll have no mercy for you.”

            Shaw grinned, he was enjoying himself because he was sure Ruby’ll oblige one way or another. “Told you, I love it when you talk like that but unfortunately these are all empty threats, babe. Now, hear me out. We have really useful cards against you and you can guess what are them. You’re a smart woman. C’mon, shoot your shot.”

            “You have no cards against me.” She rumbled.

            “Well, maybe I have too high expectations about you. Sorry, my bad.” Shaw said mockingly. “But you’re on thin ice, Ruby. You’re in our palms and you’ll do as we say from now on if you don’t want to be locked up in here with this flower ejected into your veins while your fucking boyfriend was being tortured and then killed by me. Oh also, don’t forget about the cure. You won’t have it if you don’t oblige. Am I clear?”

            Ruby was out of words. She would prefer suffering in this room to be slave for someone again but he mentioned Gavin. She knew he could hurt Gavin even though she was aware Gavin was a powerful evolver, Shaw was much more brutal and impulsive. Her heart was beating heavily and she was out of breath.

            “Am I clear?” Shaw asked again. “You don’t have a way out of this.”

**************

            It was past midnight when Gavin arrived home. He was hesitant about going in but he had to see her eventually. And he had to hold himself back when he saw her. He mustn’t ask her why did she do that or was everything a lie.

            He saw Ruby sitting on the couch when he opened the door. He waited for a couple of seconds on the doorstep, waiting for her to look at him but she didn’t even flinch. She was staring at the floor, hugging her knees.

            Gavin slowly walked towards to the couch and sat next to her, without saying a word.

            Ruby looked up at him but turned her head right back. She could lie so easily but she was afraid Gavin could see the truth in her eyes. Even if the truth was the only thing Gavin needed.

            So much left unspoken that night.