Chapter 15: Before Trouble Stirs

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It was Wednesday afternoon before Ryn was finally well enough to leave.

Colt had looked after her for the meantime, bringing her daily, and incredibly delicious, meals and providing a kind of company that starved off her earlier apprehension.

She appreciated it. Very much, actually.

But she couldn't stay here, forever.

Just last night she had been able to stand without swaying on her feet, the pounding in her skull softened down to an occasional purr. The grazes on her arms had all but faded, much to her surprise, and the only parts of her that still hurt – the bruising across her stomach and the two-inch-deep stab wounds which Quentin had stitched up – were both tucked safely beneath the bandage.

Colt had taken her out of the room, for the first time, leading her down a short hallway, lined with closed doors, and down a set of rickety steel stairs.

Apparently the warehouse was half used as an office before it had been abandoned, meaning there was plenty of space to transform it into an accommodating home.

But the main area took her breath away.

It was divided into two uneven sections by a thin, corrugated, iron wall.

In the smaller back section, just beside the office-halls, Colt had it organised like an entirely open-plan house.

There was a set of three couches positioned in a 'U' shape in the centre, each of them unique and mismatched, as though he'd found them all separately on the side of the street, and dragged them back here. A small coffee table sat snugly in between them

The side of the room was filled with a kitchen space; a long bench, oven, sink, and fridge were all included. A range of cupboards and shelves – mismatched like the couches – bordered it, half-closing it off from the rest of the space in a square-shaped arena.

There was a rather large dining room table, seated with 10 chairs. Ryn found herself wondering how the two of them could have possibly dragged this back here.

Several artworks lined the wall opposite the kitchen. She noticed framed paintings of gardens, and photographs of sunsets. There were small sketches tacked up to the wall and tapestries hanging down. Though in discordance with each other, they were all beautiful. It appeared the Conri siblings had a fine taste in art.

'It's amazing what people throw away,' he told her. 'Whenever I find something or, more often than not, Quentin does, we just bring it back here.'

She assumed he must have noticed her gazing around with a certain curious wonder. 

He looked around, himself. 'It's not much but.... It's home.'

Ryn couldn't help but notice the admiration he held for the place. To him, she supposed, it was more than just a home. It was a sanctuary. A place that protected him from the hatred of the outside world.

'I think it's beautiful,' she breathed.

The second section was much larger than the first, and bordering on completely empty. Light seeped in from the rim of the giant hangar door but, other than that, it was very difficult to see.

'We don't often use this area,' Colt explained. 'Only to store things we haven't found a real use for, yet.'

He gestured to a cluster of dark silhouetted furniture in the nearest corner, which Ryn hadn't noticed before.

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