Okay, first off, it’s retreat week. Which means this is probably the only flash fiction post I’ve written in advance. Where I’m not trying to pull a story out of my ass at midnight, lol. Might be nice to make this a habit… who am I kidding? I’m too much of a procrastinator.
So, the song is Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford and Sons. I’m familiar with their ‘radio’ titles but hadn’t heard this one. I liked this version, very acoustic. So, here’s the video if you’ve never heard it before, and the resulting story.
Of course, as I’m searching for something to write, I’ve decided to do a bit more with Devlyn and Ryker… none of which is in order to the other bits I’ve written, lol.
Ryker dragged his gaze away from the broken window to glance at Devlyn over his shoulder. She’d propped herself against one of the walls, cradling her left arm in her lap. Blood stained the bandage he’d tied around her shoulder, the red colour opening mocking him.
He cleared his head, focusing on the encroaching forest. “Nothing but trees.”
“Thinking unless you’re the freaking Predator, you won’t see anything until it’s on top of us.”
Ryker sighed. “You don’t have to remind me I let you down. Again.”
“That’s not what I said.”
“But it’s true.” He took another scan of the area, then moved over to her. “I need to check your shoulder. It doesn’t look like that patch job is working.”
She grabbed his hand when he thumbed her shirt. “It’s fine. Just…keep watch.”
“It’s not fine, and keeping watch won’t mean shit if you bleed out. It’s been long enough. We should be clear for a while.” He took her hand and placed it in her lap. “Stop being stubborn.”
Dev huffed. “I’m not being stubborn, I’m… Shit.”
She clenched her jaw as he eased back the cloth. The material caught a bit, stretching her skin before popping off, leaving two oozing holes puckered against her flesh.
“Fuck.” Ryker slipped off his jacket, then yanked his shirt over his head. Bits of thread fluttered to the floor as he ripped his shirt into strips, folding one up then placing it against the wounds. “The only upside to this whole thing is that at least the damn bullet ricocheted and came back out. Having it still in there…”
Devlyn closed her eyes, swallowing what sounded like a whimper. “Yeah. It’s a real ray of sunshine.”
Ryker made eye contact. “Having a hunk of lead lodged inside you? Definitely worse.” He pressed a bit harder, cursing under his breath when her breath hitched a her eyes rolled slightly. “You never should have done that.”
She blinked, focusing on his face. “Done what?”
She chuckled, the sound morphing into a grunt. “So, I was just supposed to let Slader kill you? Hide behind that car and watch you bleed out?”
“You could have—”
“What, Ryker? Reasoned with him? Talked him down? Or maybe you think I could have ninjaed my way through his men and taken them all out with my superior skills.”
“Taking a bullet for me…nearly getting yourself killed…” He shook his head. “We’re both damned lucky to be alive.”
She laughed, again. “I knew you’d pull me out of there. And it was a lucky hit on Slader’s part.”
“Second time that bastard has gotten the jump on you in the last few weeks.”
She glared at him. “Are you suggesting I’m losing my edge? Because I’m pretty sure you just thanked me for saving your ass.”
He smiled, enjoying the way her gaze followed the uplift of his mouth. Damn, but the girl was dangerous. Two weeks together and he felt as if he’d stepped backwards in time—as if he hadn’t screwed everything up by leaving. Not that she’d listened to him, yet. But being around her—it was like a slap in the face to everything he’d had, and let go.
He huffed. He hadn’t done it by choice. Not that it mattered. The outcome had been the same—he’d lost the other half of himself. The one woman he’d ever love.
He tucked some hair behind her ear. “Thank you.”
Her eyes widened, creases marring her brow before she shrugged her good shoulder. “Don’t get all sentimental on me. I’d just rather have the pleasure of shooting you, myself.”
“I thought you wanted to stick a knife through my…how did you put it?” He grinned. “Right. Cold withered heart.”
Her lips quirked, and his damn stomach flip-flopped. “I’m not above adapting.”
He thumbed her cheek, staring into the deep blue of her eyes. “Christ, you’re beautiful.”
Her expression softened. “Ryker.”
He silenced her with a gentle finger over her lips, the soft play of her skin only ratcheting up the uneasy roiling sensation in his gut. “Don’t. For just one minute can you stop being mad at me and let me look at you. Stop the bleeding and hold you.”
She furrowed her brow, her chin quivering for a moment before she visibly surrendered. “You’re not going to cry, are you?”
“You really are a piece of work, Dev.” He taped up the wound, satisfied he’d stemmed the bleeding enough she wouldn’t get any worse. Then he wrapped another few strips of his shirt around her shoulder, tying them in place. “You need to stay still for a bit. Give that a chance to heal before we move on.”
“Aren’t you worried Slader will find us?”
“Not my first time ditching a mark. We’ll be fine for the night. If he’d managed to track us down, he’d be knocking down our door as we speak.”
“Then why did you spend the last ten minutes staring out the damn window?”
“Are you determined to be difficult? Every freaking second of every day?”
Her eyes glassed over before she turned away. “This isn’t easy.”
He turned, scooting in beside her. She snapped her gaze back to him as he eased his arm around her, tucking her against his side, her head notched into his shoulder.
She swallowed noisily. “What…”
“Shut up, Dev.”
Her breath hitched, and she stayed firm against him for several heartbeats before melting against him. Her breath feathered across his bare chest, the subtle caress easing the frantic beating of his heart. At least, for now, she was safe. Hurt, but safe.
Her hand landed on his ribs, each finger anchoring him more to her. “Fine. A truce. But just for tonight.”
He smiled against her hair, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. “A one-off.”
She took a few shuddering breaths, glancing up at him. “If we’re really having a truce, then I want you to do one thing for me.”
“Lie to me and tell me everything’s going to be all right.”
He wrapped his other arm around her, pulling her close. “Everything’s going to be all right. Promise.” He gave her another squeeze. “Close your eyes. You can go back to fantasizing about killing me in the morning.”
She hummed, snuggling against him. A soft sigh warmed his skin. “Or maybe, I’d rather just kiss you.”
He stilled. Had he really just heard her say she wanted to kiss him? He forced in a calming breath. “Devlyn?” He looked down at her when she didn’t answer, snorting at the contented look on her face as she slept against him. “Figures. Never could catch a break, could we, sweetheart? Sleep, because sooner or later, you’re going to listen, and I’m not going to stop until you’re mine. And this time, nothing will get between us.”
And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies and see what they’ve written.