With Baited BreathMature

Garnet murmurred sleepily, groggy with waking. She wasn't much of a morning person, although she was used to waking early, putting on a smile and pretending to be cheery. Inside she was usualy cursing the daylight and stumbling through the motions.

For that reason it took her a few moments to realize that something wasn't right. She rolled to her side, stretching, only to encounter resistance. Her eyes flew open and she was already starting to scramble away from whatever she'd encountered on her bed.

A hand shot out, covering her mouth before she could let out a noise, and she found herself struggling, panic taking hold as memories of Mark shoving her down washed over her. She lashed out with her elbow, satisfied when she heard a soft noise of reaction, but still unseeing, confused, disoriented enough that she did not know who i was there with her.

The smell caught her, however. Blood. And guts. She gagged just a little even as her stomach growled, hunger suddenly tugging at her belly. She paused, just for a moment, and it was enough. Her eyes focused enough to see the ink tracing over the back of the wrist that led to the hand on her mouth, felt the frame that held her, the frame too slight, to seemingly fragile to be a man.

"Mmmphmm." Garnet stopped struggling, just for a moment feeling the body that held hers. At that point she realized that there wasn't enough barrier between them. While she wore shorts and a tank top, she felt bare skin against her, no extra cloth, no seams or folds. A body.

She swallowed reflexively, her hands lifting to lightly touch Erinye's where it covered her mouth. Lightly she peeled the hand back. Just for a moment she was tempted to nip the fingers, flick her tongue against the palm. She shook the thought off, but it lingered like a taste at the back of her mouth. Chocolate, maybe. Or something else, something she had only tasted recently.

"Erinye, what are you doing here?" Garnet's voice was soft, thick still with sleep, but her eyes were focusing now. She didn't notice that her fingertips still held the other girl's hand or that she had begun to trace fingers over the tattoos on the wrist. Or that she had begun to sink back against the body holding her, curling in against the giving flesh that cradled her body.

It was then she noticed the blood that flaked from the arms, the mud. The pile of dirty clothing on her floor that had left a puddle of unknown origins, origins she did not really want to consider. "Erinye, what happened? What... what is that? Why does it smell... like...?" the alley, her mind wanted to finish, but she couldn't say it. Terror gripped her again, but she kept her words hushed, not wanting her mother to wake or come to ask what the problem was.

Erinye shifted uncomfortably, all too aware of the body she held in her arms. Her dream came to her again and she rested her nose in the crook of Garnet's neck, inhaling the cinnamon scent. She would be a beautiful wolf. Her teeth sharpened as she thought of it, considered for a moment sharing this gift with the girl in her arms.

But not yet. She could feel Garnet quivering in panic, feel the girl trembling as she clearly started connecting some little pieces.

"I'm fine. But what do you think happened? What are you asking?" Erinye held herself still, or as still as she could manage with the feel of Garnet against her. The setting was one that left her feeling utterly out of place, the bed soft, the sheets clean, the blankets matching. Sunlight had started to glow through the curtains. Her world did not belong in this room.

But then again, she wasn't sure that Garnet did either.

Garnet took a slow breath, then another. The smell of blood clung to Erinye, and it was disturbingly interesting. Turning her head slightly, she looked at the tattoos that traced their way up the other girl's arm. Her own fingertips stroked them lightly, the patterns beautiful and holding meaning she longed to understand.

She thought, letting heavy silence hold between them. What did she think? The smell was familiar. From the alley. Erinye's clothing was a mess. There was blood on her.

All the little pieces almost fit together, but she was afraid of what they would make.

She remembered how easily Erinye had slugged Mark and dropped him. The tiny girl had so much strength. Too much strength for someone her size. She moved too well, too easily. Something was strange, not quite normal.

Something drew her.

"What did you do?" Garnet's voice was soft, fearful. And yet it held a note of anticipation, expectation. She was afraid of the answer, but she was intrigued by it nonetheless. Erinye was everything she was not: strong, tattooed, darknes to her flame. Wild. Uncontrolled, untamed.

Erinye was all the things that Garnet felt as potential within herself. Within the dark cavern deep insider her soul she felt something stir, something that scented the air and padded within. Waiting. Expecting.

Erinye tilted her head, sliding her hands down Garnet's arms, turning the girl to face her. The sheets tangled around them, their bodies entwined carefully. "Would you hate me if I said I killed him?"

The words sat in the air, enough to choke Erinye as she managed to say them, to lay her fears before Garnet. For she did fear the other girl's hatred, fear the distaste and terror others gave to her. She could not take that from Garnet, not when she thought just maybe she had found something new, someone new.

Someone who might ease the loneliness that had risen to drown her as she held the other girl, waiting for an answer.

The End

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