Still holding onto Marko’s prized jacket, Ruby stared blankly at the rough-hewn rock wall of the cave. Her sight had slowly begun to return, but only in unsteady shadows. Except for the oil-soaked torch David had brought with them there was no other source of light. David was practically working in the dark but who really needed light to dig a grave?
With nary a sound David hoisted himself out of the seven foot trench he’d just finished. Looking to the right he saw the motionless bodies of Paul and Marko, now wrapped head to toe in blankets, laid out on the cave floor.
“Ruby,” His voice was soft, barely above a whisper.
“Not yet,” came Ruby’s reply.
“Ruby.” David came over, crouching down and putting his hands over Ruby’s. Caked with black dirt that stood out against her pale, clean hands, David gripped hers tight. “We have to think of ourselves. There’s nothing we can do, not...not now.” The words stuck in his throat. He didn’t want to face the fact half his pack was dead at the hands of the Bloods and that one was still missing. He didn’t want to think about the fact that the Bloods might come back and finish him off, along with Ruby. Only his respect and love for his friends had kept him here long enough to dig a proper burial place.
“What does it matter now?” Ruby closed her eyes and hugged Marko’s jacket tighter to her chest.
“You matter to me. We matter.” David kissed her temple, slowly sliding his fingers under Ruby’s and gently began to pry her hands from the jacket. “You know he... you know Marko wouldn’t want you to...” David stopped. He couldn’t quite bring himself to say it. Ruby knew what he meant to say just the same.
“Where would we even go?” Ruby’s shoulders slumped as hot tears filled her eyes. Pink rivulets rolled down her pale cheeks and disappeared into the patches that covered Marko’s jacket.
“Somewhere. I’ll find us somewhere.”
Ruby shook her head. “And then what? They find us again and finish the job?”
“No!” David regretted the harsh tone but he had to emphasize somehow that he was not willing to let that happen. “No. I promise you, I won’t let that happen.”
Making no reply, Ruby seemed to sink deeper into grief. With a little more force David finally pried Marko’s jacket from her hands and set it to the side. Once he disentangled her he pulled her into his arms, setting her in his lap. Without hesitation Ruby buried her face in the front of David’s shoulder and sobbed hard.
“Marko...” She whispered, the bitter tears welling up straight from her heart.