She glanced at the rain and what little was visible behind it before stepping into the cabin.
Snooping was neither a good idea or a respectful one, but in her defense, nothing about wordlessly getting dropped off on a porch with an open door screamed “stay out.”
She stepped into the cabin and was assaulted by musty air. The smell of the poorly ventilated room was as unpleasant as its owner’s attitude.
The simplest way to describe the place was “library.” Piles of books that reached her waist surrounded her. They were accompanied by wooden boxes that contained scrolls. The single room was large but extremely crowded by the labyrinth of literature.
She moved her attention from the items that plagued the room to the walls that composed it. The wood sported small holes which the daylight invaded. But other than that, it was clear. No pictures were hung, no ornamentation displayed. The entire room was virgin of personalization.
As vague as the place was, it gave one startling fact away: Wrath wasn’t out camping or vacationing. This was his permanent residence. He lived alone in a forest. Judging by the lack of technology in it, he didn’t seem to be interested in the rest of the world.
She hesitantly plopped down on the dirt-layered floor and reached into a box. She took one scroll out and immediately placed it back when she realized she couldn’t decipher the foreign characters printed on it. Twenty inspected books later, she gathered the following: The books ranged in topics, age, length, condition, and languages. Illustrations gave a breath of the stories the words told. Some were religious but for the most part, they were scientific. There were enough books about anatomy in there to earn him a Ph.D. She found a few novels here and there but they seemed to be unfinished. The edges he bent to bookmark his progress never went as far as the last chapter.
When she moved on from the books, she ventured to a spot in a corner. A makeshift bed- or rather, a rut that was more fit for a dog than a man was found on the floor. Stiff blankets laid on top of each other with a single flat pillow thrown over them.
Artemis’ mouth was wide with shock. If you haven’t concluded this by now: these living conditions were horrifying. Not only were they disturbingly filthy, but they also brought light to one of Wrath’s dark qualities: his anti-socialness. He was alone in life. Unless, of course, you count the occasional bug that stopped by.
As she stood in the middle of the room and observed her surroundings, pity grew and shadowed over her earlier anger. Although she didn’t know her story, she didn’t know his either. She concluded then and there that she needed to be patient and figure out how to fix him. Because the four walls of his cabin paired with the invisible ones he had built around his heart failed to keep him together.
Whether he liked it or not, he needed her. And she will become his rock, replacing all of these damned walls.
When the winds got abnormally strong and raindrops so bold that they left a stinging feeling behind whenever they landed, he knew it was time to turn back.
And when he did, she was still there. Although strangely, this time she was on his roof. He examined his cabin and noticed that the walls were racketing from the wind. The rattling warned that the place was on the verge of leveling to the ground. As he took in everything, his eyes narrowed on his porch. Footprints led inside, revealing Artemis’ earlier journey.
Anger got a hold of him. How dare she invade his personal space? Did they lack morals wherever the hell she came from? Wrath was well aware that the condition of his room revealed just how fucked up he was. And he had no plans of showing that shameful side of him to her.
A growl revved from his chest. He moved his eyes back to his mate to get a better idea of what she was doing.
Artemis was kneeling on his roof, struggling to position a tricky block of wood that she planned on hammering down to cover the hole that the storm had punctured in. She pushed her wet hair away from her face for the millionth time and hoped that she didn’t hammer a thumb off.
Wrath stomped to the cabin, grabbed a wooden panel, and propelled himself up with a mighty swing. Artemis jumped up when she heard the thud of his weight, assuming that a branch had fallen off a tree and landed on the roof. She turned back, hammer still in her hand, and nearly fell right off when she found Wrath hovering above her.
He gave her the meanest glare he could muster before snatching the hammer out of her hand and pointing to the ground. Without waiting for her expression, he brought the tool down and socked the nail in with that single blow.
When he finished, he jumped off and found Artemis on the porch with her hands guiltily intertwined. What the hell were you thinking? He nearly reprimanded.
He made sure to deepen his disapproving scowl as he stomped inside.
Artemis stood dumbly, unsure of what to do. The wind slapped her from all directions but at least now she wasn’t getting wet. And considering the fact that she just pissed the cold man off by snooping through his life, this was a fair treatment.
Only three minutes passed before she heard a growl coming from behind her. Footsteps followed suit and then the door was pushed aside, revealing a brooding Wrath.
It took her a few moments to realize that he was looking at her expectantly because he wanted her to come inside.