Like a freaky apparition, a man out of nowhere stood there, staring at her. At that point, Isadore’s brain was back to malfunctioning, caught up on the deep green eyes. They were so oddly bright in the dark. She noticed as he climbed through the window, he wore black dress pants but they took second place to his naked torso covered in tattoos. She stared transfixed at the ancient onyx colored symbols crowding the tanned skin, shiny with sweat. The tattoos extended up the right side of his face and disappeared into his hair. Her attention shifted to the heave of his massive chest and the fact that he now stood only a few feet from her bed. Who the hell was he? There were no men around the swamp that well-muscled. Zero. This man did not have a body of a hard worker, he was built like a battle-hardened warrior from the pages of ancient Greece. And he stood right there. In her room. And he even looked like he’d stepped from the battlefield, wavy dark hair dripping wet, ridiculous handsome face harshened with something that made her crawl as far back onto the bed as she could.
Jared had also slowly backed up. “This your boyfriend?” he muttered, fear and stupidity cracking his voice.
She didn’t answer. She couldn’t. She could only stare into the bright green eyes.
“I’ve been listening,” the strange man said to her. His voice was low but deep and clear, not angry as she’d expect.
“You a pervert?” Jared still backed up. “You always walk around the woods spying on women?”
The strange look in the man’s eyes held Isadore captive. So many emotions all at once. Curiosity… rage…. Okay, only two, but a lot of those two.
“I’ve been listening,” he repeated. Those eyes bore into hers still, his voice hissing with a low snarl that showed near flawless teeth. He looked at Jared and slowly angled his head as though trying to figure out what he was doing there. Or figure out what he was.
The air in the room became hot like it was on fire and Isadore gasped with it. Then she felt ice cold wind, slashing intermittently within it. The man pointed at Jared. “You lied.”
Ruin stared at the human named Jared, not understanding why the heat of the sun burned through him alongside the breath of ice, roaring in his ears. He quickly searched through the data he’d learned in the last two days to explain it, but found nothing to match this need moving him closer to the man. His body told him to take the human’s his head off, no, the heat said it. And the cold… the cold seemed to say no, that wasn’t quite right.
The longer Ruin stared at the horror and skittering of the human, the hotter the heat became. He looked at the woman next. She had taught him a lot in the last few days. The look in her eyes held the answer. If only he could see past the fear in them. He felt the snarl before it purred its way up his throat through clenched teeth as the power to rip or crush something became stronger. But so did the ice cold warning that carried that simple don’t.
Fury and rage, and that other thing boiled inside him until he could barely breathe. Ruin looked at the man, finally. “Leave!”
Blood red fire exploded through the room with his command, followed immediately by white ice that harnessed the flames with spidery fingers, turning the sure death into a hiss of steam.
Before the air cleared, the human was down the ladder and running out the door. Ruin gazed at the woman named Isadore, looking to her for answers of what had just happened to him. The fear in her eyes slowly ebbed away enough for him to see questions. Questions like he had. She was like him in many ways, he realized. Was that why he felt the constant need to watch her?
The sight of blood on the bed drew his gaze to it and he involuntary went to her. He felt that anger from earlier stirring again. He was suddenly acutely aware of two things happening inside him. One part of him wanted to open the wound on her leg that produced the blood and let it pour until the wretched body was extinguished. The other part of him wanted to kill what caused it.
It all confused him and he remembered the words that he needed to say to her. “Help me.”
Waiting, he studied the woman’s eyes that matched the sky that peeked through the trees during the hottest part of the day. The sizzling in his brain happened again. He liked the feeling because he always understood things more after. He waited for the heat to do its thing, watching the movement of life at her neck without looking directly at it. The sparks raced around in his head from one thing to the next, almost too fast for him to follow as he stared deeply into her gaze.
He took an abrupt step back at finally getting what he saw. There was no name for it, only that it made the heat inside him swirl hot with the need to crush it. A deep growl began to vibrate in his throat and the look she had was immediately replaced with fear, making the heat worse.
He’d never had the need to take her head off, but he did now. And he was sure he would have, if the shards of ice didn’t war in his body, little knives of don’t. Ruin hurried to the window when that power expanded with need to release. It was somehow worse than it had been with that Jared human. The need to understand why, or not knowing why, wasn’t helping.
He was weak, that was the word, he was sure. And he didn’t like that. Didn’t like wasn’t the right words. There was another word more fitting, he could feel it, he just couldn’t name it because he didn’t know it.
He gave one furious glance back at the woman before jumping for the tree limb over the roof. She was the answer. He didn’t know how or why, he just knew she was. As he sought a place nearby to wait till morning, he contemplated that last look in her eyes. It had told him other things about her. It said she’d give him all the answers he needed. And that she’d give him whatever he wanted. He didn’t understand that part, but it gave him a good feeling.