Wrath walked into the small room, inspecting the floor for any needles the previous owners of this room might have left as a housewarming gift. Accidentally sitting on a needle infected with HIV is not how he plans on leaving this world.
After two days on the road, he made his way out of New Hampshire and to Vermont. He could’ve gone further west, but there was an invisible leash restricting his distance. He told himself that he grew fond of the fall weather that the east coast had to offer, but he knew better than anyone that he preferred this side of the country because it was graced by a particular female alpha. He was safely far from her yet conveniently close.
Speaking of gracing... the tiny town of Harpy, Vermont got the pleasure of receiving him as a new resident. Someone will be especially happy about having him around when they check their clothing line and realize it was stripped clean of the men’s clothing they hung. Well, on the bright side, at least they won’t have to worry about folding and ironing anymore.
As much as Wrath liked to prance around in nothing but shorts, being bare-chested 24/7 was unfortunately not socially acceptable. He added having to wear t-shirts and shoes for the comfort of others to the list of reasons to hate being a part of society.
After permanently borrowing shoes and clothes, he walked into the nearest motel as Nickola Xavier. Getting a false identity was easy. He knew a few werewolves that owned him favors; one of the few perks of being older than the concept of time. He had an old acquaintance that he helped many decades ago, a Senator. When he offered money, Wrath was quick to reject it. He had little need for wealth or recognition. Sol could easily hand him a fancy office and secretary. But Wrath had no interest in working in a tall building that was swarming with greedy jackasses. He liked simplicity.
When he scanned the job listings in the local newspaper, he immediately tallied off anything that required human interaction. This took out accountant out of the equation. Attorney wasn’t even added to the equation in the first place. Sol was an attorney and the last thing Wrath needed was a constant a reminder of the overbearing lycan.
He read enough books to prep him for the worlds of business and law, but he had no interest in working with his mind. He was looking for something that would help exert whatever had nested in his chest. It felt like a stake infused with pain and frustration was lodged in his heart and an unreasonable part of him believed that if he physically worked himself half to death, he would eventually plow the stake down and close the bleeding lesion. Maybe then it will stop hurting. Maybe then it will allow him to heal. Maybe then he’ll forget about what’s distressing him.
So, he was going with the posting for construction. The job required little to no thinking. All he had to do was recklessly swing a sledgehammer around until he reached a blissful state of exhaustion that spared no brain power to think about raven hair. He would work overtime if he could. Anything to avoid sitting alone with his thoughts.
His eyes evaluated his new home. The bed was accompanied by a table and unenthusiastic brown dresser that looked tired of usage. His precious books and sack of clothes sat on the table. They were the only indication that a person resided in it.
In all, the shoebox apartment was a huge upgrade when compared to his haunted-house-themed cabin. But it was still nothing he could offer Artemis. He had no fenced home, no redeeming qualities, no interest in anything other than avoiding people and decaying with his books. He was barely even a man. And a man is what she needed to take care of her present and future. He was too hung up trying to fix himself, unable to provide her with the happiness and family she deserved.
Thoughts of families had his wicked mind focusing on the activities that starting one entailed. At the crack of a whip, he went from his scheduled self-hating session to admiring the alluring vision of Artemis’ soft flesh under his hungry hands. He pictured the pink lips that had angrily demanded his attention so many times, open by mere centemeters— not enough to mutter English words but enough for the universal sounds of euphoric pleasure to dance out. Her sweet cries encouraging him to hold her tighter, pound in deeper, taste her more frantically. In his vision, he would worship the blessing the goddess gave him and show her how sorry he was for neglecting her. While knowing that she deserved much more, he would give whatever his undeserving self had to offer: His mark on her neck, his seed in her womb, his ring on her finger.
“Fuck!” he jumped off the bed, yelling so angrily that he was sure his neighbors heard the obscenity.
He then began pacing, feeling a dreaded weight between his legs that confirmed his arousal. He felt self-distain for fantasizing about Artemis, a woman that was the stars to his earth; completely out of his league. Surely, he’d inflict more pain than pleasure if he were to lay a hand of her. He was a selfish brute that would use her innocent body to find his own release, leaving her either disappointed or hurt.
The ropes of panic began to entangle around his limbs. He knew that soon he would be a far cry from stable. The only medicine to these episodes was the cool water of the lake. But he was miles away from home. Seeking an alternative, he rushed to the bathtub and turned the knobs. Water began trickling down in measly strings out of the cheap faucet. It would take ages before the tub became full enough to submerge his massive body.
No! He refused to enter the void. It was a terrible place. One that had thoughts violently ram into his brain, prompting him to pace for hours in a subconscious attempt to run away from the guilt of his crimes.
He kicked off his shoes, nearly tripping over his desperation. His shirt and jeans came next. Hastily, he stepped into the bathtub and gripped his length, laying his free hand against the tiles that made up the wall. He stroked himself quickly, trying to escape the past memories which were slowly devouring him. His calloused hand pulled and pushed against the tender member, unable to replicate the pleasure that would come from a woman’s warm body but doing enough to make him forget about the demons in his mind.
He focused on the currents of pleasure overwhelming his lower stomach. Eventually, his balls tightened and hot jets of semen strung out of like thick ribbons. As soon as he found his release, pleasure faded and misery stepped in its boots. He was out of the woods now, successfully having evaded the mental breakdown, but this didn’t save him from the steadfast depression that was there to welcome him home.
Wrath fell to his knees. His eyes locked onto his cock which was gradually softening. Then, his sight began to blur; only managing to re-focus when two tears fell. A strangled, lonely sob joined the signs of distress. And in seconds, he was crying out hopelessly in agony.
Because when he reached his release, he saw her. He was a sick degenerate. And he hated himself for it.
Sol tapped his pen on the notepad thoughtlessly, eyes on his desktop screen but mind left to its own devices.
He hadn’t seen Wrath personally in two months but the man had remained pinned in the back of his mind. More specifically, the following comment:
“The world isn’t your personal circus. You cynical, good-for-nothing fool.”
Sol usually didn’t care for anyone’s opinion. He moved on from his self-conscious-teenager phase centuries ago. He hadn’t paid Wrath’s labels much mind because he genuinely didn’t care. That is, until last night when he received a message from a shadow of the past— Ezekiel, the lycan whose downfall was lust.
The two of them unexpectedly crossed paths once countless years ago. Their meeting was eventless but they never forgot each other. Meeting one of the few members of your species is not a memory you can easily overlook.
He was surprised when Ezekiel reached out and even more so when he heard why. The fiend had organized a human trafficking ring and offered Sol a couple of millions for running security. After all, no one made a better soldier than an immortal lycan.
The conniving villain made the assumption that he and Sol were equally rotten. He was wrong. Sol turned over a new leaf long ago. Hurting innocent humans sounded as interesting as taking a dip in a puddle of mud.
He was ready to tell Ezekiel to go to hell when Raiden’s snarky self paid an unwelcomed mental visit. “Cynical, good-for-nothing fool,” ricochet in his memory so much that it nearly drove him mad. He began considering bashing his skull in to get Raiden’s opinionated voice out of it at approximated 3PM today.
He should’ve been able to shrug the reproach off. After all, it came from a man that was not all that credible himself. Wrath was no priest. But he couldn’t archive the insult no matter how hard he tried. Sol wasn’t a bad guy. Not anymore. He didn’t go out of his way to torment others.
His ego did not like being valued at zero. He would take “jerk,” “busybody,” “rude,” any day of the week but “good-for-nothing” was just unacceptable.
He felt inclined to prove himself.
He knew that he could report Ezekiel to the werewolf council and call it quits but that just wouldn’t do. Getting his hands dirty with the blood that would cleanse his reputation by personally slicing Ezekiel’s skinny neck would do the trick.
A knock coming from his door made him drop his pen and the heated glare he was giving his computer monitor. “Hey man, I’ve been calling you for five minutes. Are you free?” Lincoln, a coworker popped in.
Sol coincidentally had the same last name as the human attorney. People kept asking if they were related so they eventually rolled with it.
Sol shook his head. “Actually I was just about to go out. I’ll be back in four days.”
Lincoln groaned. “The clients are not going to like this. You’re going to run this company to the ground, Sol.”
Sol chuckled. “Charm them.”
Lincoln scoffed. “Charming isn’t debited on my paycheck.”
When Lincoln made his way out, Sol looked back at his phone and mentally ran through his list of contacts. Who could help him intergrade Ezekiel’s operation and tear the shit apart? It’s not like he had a handful of werewolf friends.
He leaned back in his seat and messed with the phone cord with his free hand. “Hey, Artemis. Long time no see.”