"Take me with you."

Buck froze in the dark of night and waited for the voice to speak again. Was his mind playing tricks on him?

A hand reached out of the shadows and brushed its fingertips against his skin. "Take me with you." He resisted the urge to grab at the girl's wrist, for surely with the delicate bones and lustrous skin… the soft sweet plea of her voice… but he didn't want to frighten her away, not until he learned more about her.

"Come out where I can see you."

There was a brief hesitation of time… a breath of pause before she stepped into the shiver pool of light cast by the moon. She was of his brother's people; he knew the cut of her gown and the delicate designs sewn into the hide. He'd seen his mother create such beauty and it was familiar to him even though her face was hidden in shadow.

"I'm ready to leave with you, please." Her voice was more insistent, her finger tips biting slightly into his skin. "If we wait much longer, they'll know I'm gone."

"Who are you?" When she shook her head his hand snaked out and grasped at her wrist, pulling her into the light.

He startled her. He heard the gasp from her lips as she looked up at him with wide frightened eyes.

Suddenly he was lost… lost in time as she blinked at him half in fear… half in wonder.

"They called you Storm." The words passed his lips without an actual thought to speaking them.

"Yes," she nodded ever so slightly, "after the night that I was born. The lightning was blue…"

"Like your eyes." It had been a wonder to his brother's people and his own mother had declared that the infant girl was truly blessed by the gods who captured the light and set it within her eyes. He knew now with a single look that the blue had nothing to do with the gods… it was the only way people could tell that. "You're-"

"Like you… lost in the middle… Red Bear won't allow you home and I doubt the people in town accept you as one of them."

Buck couldn't argue with her logic. It was true… painfully so.

"Then why do you want to come with me… you don't even know what kind of a man I am."

"Oh, yes I do." She gifted him with a smile that warmed him in the chill of night. "That's how I knew you were here. You bring sweets to the children."

She had him there. He had made it a habit to come to the Kiowa camp with a pocketful of sweets for Red Bear's children. He knew his brother meant it when he said to stay away, but he couldn't escape the draw of his nephews. They were always happy to see him… or at least push their hands into the pockets of his vest and fish for candy. "How do you know?"

Her smile was secretive and he was instantly drawn to the gentle lift of the corners of her mouth. "You should be careful when you bring them rock candy, it dries on their fingers. I had to help them wash it off before their father saw. They tell me when you come to see them… so I waited." Her smile faded away. "Take me with you."

He was going to refuse her. He had to. It was the only thing he could do and look at himself in the mirror afterwards.

"Please."

Buck closed his eyes and a moment later Red Bear's disapproving face was instantly in his thoughts. "I can't. You don't know what it's like… out there."

"I know what it's like to be hated by my own people… to have women stare at me as if I was evil even though I've never done them harm." She took his hands in her own and squeezed. "You have made your own path in the world, Running Buck… help me make mine. Set me free."

The plaintive cry of an eagle filled the suddenly still night around them. Struck by the magic of the moment he didn't notice the way his thumbs were slowly skimming the backs of her hands as he looked down into her eyes… the color of the night sky lit with lightning. "Come with me."

Author's Note: Written for FanFic100 - Lightning

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