Ruby & Jonathan

Ay, ay, ay – these visual writing prompts are taking me in a direction I never thought I would go unless it was kicking and screaming.  I’ll leave it to you to see where this story goes.  Not my usual style, but I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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Ruby & Jonathan

“Why do I suddenly feel like Little Red Riding Hood?”

“I don’t know,” Jonathan replied. “Why do you feel like Red?”

“Oh, are the two of you on a first name basis now?”

Jonathan glanced at me sideways, flashed his beautiful smile. He took my hand and pressed it to his lips. Along with his toothy grin, these little romantic gestures were another thing I loved about him. And don’t even get me started on those dark gold eyes.

“You’re going to love this trail, Ruby,” he said. “It meanders with no steep inclines, no rocks to climb.”

“Sounds perfect.”

In the short time we’ve dated, I learned that Jonathan has three passions: Hiking, running, and hunting. He may have been twenty years older than me, but he was as fit as a man half his age. We’d hiked and run countless miles. The only activity I didn’t join him in was hunting.

“There’s a place just ahead where the path veers sharply to the right. The trail almost turns back on itself,” he said.

“Are we done hiking already?”

“I mentioned it because it creates a little nook completely hidden from view. No prying eyes.”

I looked behind us and craned my neck to see up ahead.

“I’m pretty sure we’re all alone,” I laughed.

Jonathan blushed and ran his hand through shaggy, salt and pepper gray hair.

“Well, I don’t want our twilight walk to be disturbed,” he said.

“Is this place special to you?”

“It’s private in this particular grove of trees. The branches make the perfect canopy for a secret rendezvous.”

“And what, exactly, do you think is going to happen there, Mr. Wolfe?”

My secretive boyfriend pulled me into a tight embrace, roguishly kissed my temple. His teeth lightly grazed my skin.

“I’ll race you there,” he said.

“I don’t know where it is.”

“You can’t get lost, Ruby. Just follow this big root-like thing on the path.”

I feigned reluctance with hands on hips.

“Ready, set– Hey!” he called as I took off running.

I could hardly run I was laughing so hard. Jonathan’s feet pounded the ground behind me. It would only be a matter of moments before he caught up to me on powerful, sinewy legs. I imagined him tackling me, rolling on the ground, laughing, and kissing. Instead, I heard his footsteps grow faint. A cold wind rushed past me as I ran.

I reached the secluded area first sure I had won. With hands on knees, I stood there panting.

“Hello darling.”

My head popped up at the sound of his voice.

“How– how did you get here? You cheater,” I said between ragged breaths. Pointing at his bare feet, I asked, “Where are your boots?”

“I run faster without them.”

A wicked smile spread across his face, not quite reaching his eyes.

“Didn’t you feel me pass you?” he asked.

I shivered at his question.

“No, but whatever. You won. Can we go home now?”

Laughter growled in his throat. Jonathan dropped into a runner’s stance, fingers and toes pressed lightly into the leaf litter. His muscles tensed, ready to spring.

“Wanna race again, Red? You run, I chase?”

“My name is Ruby, Jonathan.”

“That’s what I meant.”

I couldn’t tear my gaze away from his glowing gold eyes.

“I don’t want to play this game anymore.”

“Ready–”

“No, Jonathan.”

“Set–”

“Cut it out!”

“Go!”

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