The tears flow freely as Ruby is struggling to understand her feelings and how it was even possible to find a friend in Valmont.
Razorbackwriter: What greeted Valmont’s words was the most tragic thing he could have seen – the last thing he ever wanted to see. With her hood falling back and showing off her face to full view, it was the utter sadness, the spill of many tears that had now soaked her skin. Even her stitches were wet. Valmont’s heart sank. Did he cause this? The incubus was now questioning himself. Everything he had done up to this point, what was it that brought about her pain? You could see the quizzical expression along with regret. Regret for whatever it was that he had done wrong. The girl just sat there and stared up at him. Almost like looking right through him. No one had ever done this to him before. Valmont had never seen a girl cry.
“What have I done?”
Valmont knelt down upon the grass on one knee. He wanted to know what it was that was wrong, and how he could fix it. The ambassador was very good at diplomatic work, but dealing with someone’s feelings. Watching on in silence, he saw Ruby take out the chalk board that he had given her. Her hand was shaking so much it was hard to see what she was trying to write, but soon it became apparent just what it was.
“Hurts?” Valmont saying the very word that she was feeling. What hurts, how does it hurt….where? Again, the ambassador was at a loss on where to begin. His eyes searching hers for answers, till it dawned on him.
“Has no one ever shown you affection before?” Was that it? Had Valmont innocently brought about a wave of sorrow from her lost memories. Valmont reached across for her hand. “How do I make it stop?”
Zu: Ruby saw that she wasn’t the only one hurt by the current state of affairs. Valmont too, for what he was, felt sorrow for what had happened. Ruby didn’t want him to feel sad, he had no need to be sad. It was Ruby who should feel this way. She looked at him with this expression of don’t be sad, even if her face showed little resemblence of that. Ruby stared at him for what seemed like hours, til finally she went for her board again. Valmont understood her, but how she even wrote down what she wanted to say was something short of a miracle. Another word came crashing through her skull, and she wiped down the board furiously to make room for it. She stared to write again, though this time with a little more shake. Maybe if she kept her feelings bottled up, it’d work out and she’d feel better about it. When she finally wrote it down, she showed Valmont again.
She didn’t want it to stop. It was a feeling she never felt before, the feeling of being loved and cared for. For Valmont to ask how to stop it was something she was terrified for. Ever since she grew comfortable around Valmont, for what little time she did, Ruby wanted nothing more than to be around him. Ruby let down her board, which still hung over her chest, and held her arms out to Valmont. She wanted a hug, because if she was to feel better she’d rather be in Valmont’s arms to do such.
Seeing the sudden change in Ruby’s face, as though she was asking Valmont not to be sad, the Ambassador had trouble responding to it. He mirrored her in a lot of ways, and it was only natural that he should take responsibility for whatever it was that he had done to make her feel this way. What he didn’t understand was that Ruby wanted to have these feelings. Odd as that might sound. Why?
Watching her start to scribble madly on the chalkboard again, Valmont would read the one word that asked him how to help her.
The Ambassador held his breath as his brow creased and he sat there, almost dumbfounded. Women were so incredibly confusing at times. But then, she dropped the board and held out both her arms towards him. She wanted to be held. Maybe being held she could come to grips with her fears. Valmont genuinely did not want to hurt her at all. It was the last thing he’d ever do. So, carefully, Valmont drew Ruby up into his lap as he made himself more comfortable upon the ground, and brought her head towards his chest, so that her cheek would be pressed to his coat. His arm enveloped her, while his free hand gently stroked her hair. If she listened, she could hear the beating of his heart within his chest. A smooth rhythm that would be soothing. Steady and strong.
Valmont wouldn’t speak a word. Instead just rocking her gently and letting the gentle breeze play about them as they became closer, due to the solitude of the gardens. Would she grow to accept this affection he offered her?
Zu: Ruby watched as Valmont read the word she formed onto the chalkboard. She could tell that he didn’t know what was going on in the slightest. That was okay, she didn’t need him to. All she wanted to feel was his love, that was the only thing he had to do. She was taken into his arms, and she felt comforted. Ruby felt well, though tears streamed down her face; this time, they were happy tears. It may not take a short amount of time, but Ruby hoped she’d get used to this. Though she could have had the mind of an adult, and the experience of one too, Ruby was only a child in actuality. Ruby took Valmont’s shirt, and gripped it with her fragile hands, resting her head against his chest. She shouldn’t have ran from him, but it felt too much for her to handle and for that, she did have to stay away from Valmont until she could get a hold of herself. Now, she did; it felt lovely.
Feeling the soft fall of Ruby’s tears upon his shirt, he knew that he had not been able to stop the flow of tears. Course, he didn’t realize that these were happy tears. Ruby tugged at his shirt and pulled it to her face with her tiny hands, her head nestled to his chest – being as close to him as she could possibly get. Valmont would hold her for as long as it took, till the shudders from her tiny body abated, and she was able to gain control over her emotions once more. Valmont let out a sigh, almost like he was relieved in a sense. She could have run from him again, but instead she confronted her fears and held on to him to help her get past what it was that she feared most.
Valmont’s hand came to a stop at the back of her head. Keeping it there firmly so she could feel the comfort that he’d never let her go. How would this have looked from the Embassy windows? Was anyone watching the pair? Maybe. But Valmont didn’t care. He’d tried to teach her a great deal in a very small amount of time, and it is completely possible that he had overwhelmed the poor girl into such a state that she fled from him in the ballroom.
“You don’t have to ever fear me, Lady Ruby. To some, I am a monster, beneath the frill and lace of my attire. But to you, I will always be your friend. You can count on that.”
Zu: Ruby felt safe, this was something she never even thought of before. She had always been on the run, always hiding from others thanks to her job as a killer. Nobody ever gave her love like Valmont, she didn’t know what to do with herself. Now she realized that this feeling would always be around, and she’d just get used to it soon. Ruby didn’t want to leave Valmont’s side and she thought to herself that he didn’t want that either. She felt his comfort rest upon her skull, and because of that she looked up. She was greeted by a soft-spoken Valmont who did not steer away using his eyes.
Ruby didn’t know a word that could response to that, but if there was one thing she knew how to do, it was show her emotions without words. She only dug herself more into Valmont’s breasts, having her stitches move slightly, very invisible, to a grin. Never before had Ruby grinned before, and though it didn’t look that way she felt good about this grin. She could tell that this relationship would last forever.
Razorbackwriter: They say the greatest rewards in life are the simplest of things. Who could believe, that the girl whose mouth was sewn shut so crudely, could ever be able to smile. And yet, this is what Ruby did. It was by far one of the most wonderful moments of Valmont’s life. Did the girl understand what this made him feel? It was better than any word that could be spoken in gratitude or thanks. As each stitch moved, so to did the strings on Valmont’s heart. It swelled with pride to know that the hooded girl believed in him. Believed in their friendship – which was still so new. For both of them, this was a change in their behaviors, but so rewarding. Valmont was not feeling the same urges he did with women. This was a love of a different kind. Not that Valmont had ever truly loved anything or anyone before. No one was deserving of such. All had their ideals and ambitions, such as Lydia. That woman could turn the purest of joy into ashes in your mouth.
Valmont gazed down at Ruby with a fondness and affection that one would expect from a father figure. Ruby was a child in her form and the ambassador had no idea that beneath the sweet face, lay the heart of a woman that had lived a long time. There was so much still that Valmont did not know about Ruby, but for now he was at peace to know that he had stopped the unhappy tears and given her a source of comfort that no one else ever could.
“As time and the elements shift across these lands like sand in the hour glass, you can always count on me to be by your side.”
Zu: Every word spoken by Valmont was like elegent music gracing her ears. She took every word in, and never let it out of her mind. His voice was so soothing, comforting. Ruby was glad for the bond they had, and it was still fresh. There was so much out there for them to explore and enjoy. Though Ruby could not speak, her actions spoke louder. Sure, there were barriers but Ruby was content with that. Every relationship did have it’s problems, no? Ruby was about to write something when a small flash of memory entered her mind. Her face tensed a bit as she struggled to remember what that just was. She looked at Valmont, confused, then at th ground. What the hell was that flash? It seemed like a memory, but was it really?
Razorbackwriter: Yes, their bond was one that was now unshakable, that was how Valmont viewed it. Seeing her smile was worth any heart ache or confusion. But as they enjoyed this new found closeness, it seemed that there were some things that still troubled the girl. She was about to write something on her small chalk board, to express how she felt, yet something made her pause. Her face tensing, like her eyes narrowing and the happy smile fading from view. Perhaps something had been triggered in this moment, but without her way to communicate this, she simply stared up at Valmont, then looked to the ground.
“What is it, Lady Ruby?”
Valmont knew that there must be something she wished to tell him, but for now she was unable too. They were obviously going to have many moments like this one, where she experienced flashbacks of sorts. The awakening stream of new emotions were bound to trigger them. A simple word, a piece of music, or even the joy of being held, can remind a person of an event long before this time.
Valmont was a patient enough man to wait for her to be ready to tell him.
Zu: Ruby looked back up at Valmont when he asked this question, and her face showed the one emotion she felt at the very moment. Confusion; Ruby had no idea herself, so there was no way she could convey what she was confused about. Ruby slowly pushed herself away from Valmont to stand back up again. She was fine, so there was no need for hugging anymore. Ruby looked at Valmont, maybe if she was to leave here she’d find out just what happened. She grabbed her chalk, thinking of what the word was. She’s seen it once, and the word did flash in front of her face. After using her excellent memory, she wrote it down.
Razorbackwriter: The bewildered expression upon Ruby’s face caught the Ambassador off guard. Feeling her push away gave Valmont the chance to get to his feet, and lightly brush himself off of the grass and leaf litter upon the ground. Had the ambassador’s reassuring embrace done the trick?
Watching her take out the chalk and the board again, Valmont leaned forward – wondering just what she was going to write this time. It could be anything, now that she had regained her composure. The chalk squeaked as it ran along the black board surface, shaping two letters only.
The fact that she could write in the common language, actual words meant that there was a side to Ruby that had once been schooled in how to write and communicate this way. It was actually a relief to see, because this alone meant that it would save them weeks, or months of tuition. But back to the word. ‘Go.’ Did she wish to leave the Embassy, to find herself?
“You wish to leave, Lady Ruby?” Was that what she needed to do?
“The gate is just a few hundred metres that way.” Valmont pointed in the right direction, before asking. “Do you want me to come with you?”
Was this a journey that she wished to take on her own?