‘Cold’ Chapter Two
Ok I got impatient so I’m not uploading a new chapter every week, I will upload more often until the point at which I have no more chapters posted on Wattpad. Enjoy!
TW: Nudity, whump, pain descriptions, mild language, arguing?
Jacob eventually fell asleep, sitting upright in the stiff wooden chair. His arms were folded over his chest, his chin pointing down at his lap. The fire was slowly dying, only coals were left at the bottom of the fireplace. The wind had died down, but the snow hadn't stopped yet and was stacking up at an incredible rate.
The Deputy woke up to a cold wind on her face. The cabin was pretty drafty and something that was blocking up a hole must've fallen somewhere. She looked around, trying to piece together what happened. She saw Jacob asleep on his chair, and she got red faced when she realized how naked she was under her blanket.
Despite her face growing hot from embarrassment, the rest of her was cold and she looked over at the dying fire. She spotted some firewood sitting next to the fireplace in a wood crib and figured she could put a couple sticks on to hot coals.
Sitting up proved harder than she imagined it would. Her whole body was tired, like all of her energy was still trapped under the ice. Her hands shook, both from being chilly and from her exhaustion, as she pulled her blanket closer around her. She tried to be as quiet as she could, figuring that Jacob was a pretty light sleeper, she didn't feel like waking him up so that she could listen to him drone on about why he really rescued her. It probably had something to do with all of those wolf calls she'd been blowing up and so he saved her so that he could put her through more torture.
She groaned at the thought of Jacob gloating about how she owed him or whatever now. The groan could have possibly been from her trying to stand as well though. Forcing her legs to hold her body weight was probably a bad idea but the Deputy was all about making bad ideas for the greater good, and at that moment the greater good was not being cold. She wished she had something to lean on, even a cane would work, but she just had to push forward using the arm of the couch as a support.
She adjusted the blanket around her shoulders, hiding her naked body from view, and nearly stumbled as she made her way over to the fireplace. Carefully, she grabbed a piece of wood out of the creaky wood crib and semi-tossed it onto the coals.
"What are you doing?" A voice spoke behind her.
Scared, the Deputy spun around, coming almost face to face with a very awake Jacob Seed. She glanced back at the fire, clutching her blanket closer to her. "I uh...the fire looked like it was going out." The Deputy stammered out and Jacob looked at the fire behind her.
He didn't say anything as he watched the gently flames curl around the dry pieces of wood. A silence settled over the cabin that made the Deputy uncomfortable. Jacob nodded at the fire, seemingly convinced of something, looking back at the Deputy. Her pale face was sweating and red. "Jesus, would you sit down?" He said gruffly and the Deputy was happy to oblige. She was certain that even a small misstep would cause her to fall right to the ground.
Jacob watched as she stumbled around the coffee table, lowering herself onto the couch. She looked back up at her clothes that were hanging by the fire. "Are my clothes dry?" She asked, her voice little more than a creak. Jacob grabbed her shirt off the hook and felt it under his fingers.
"They will be soon." He said, looking over his shoulder at the Deputy. He partially realized why she was so cold was because of the cold draft running through the cabin. And because she was still naked. He didn't say a word as he walked over to his mini closet and pulled out what looked like a long sleeve shirt.
He tossed the long sleeve over to the Deputy, it landed on top of her blanket. "Oh, thanks." She was wary to say but she was relieved to be putting on real clothes. She unwrapped herself down to her waist in her blanket, quickly throwing the shirt over her head to hide her body. The shirt itself was about four sizes too big for her but she didn't mind. She looked over at Jacob who was shuffling something around in his kitchen cabinets. He had his back turned to her, not paying her half a mind of attention.
Jacob could tell she was having trouble putting the whole situation in order. Besides, she was sitting in his cabin naked, well partially naked. He decided that he would explain to her the condition of the storm, then he'd come up with something to say to her. He pulled out two cans of soup and two spoons, walking back over to the Deputy.
"Here, you need your strength." He said and gestured for her to take the can out of his hand.
The Deputy reluctantly grabbed it. "How do I know you didn't poison it or something?" She asked and Jacob scoffed.
"I figured you understood that we made a temporary truce, seeing as I did bring you to my cabin and made sure you didn't freeze out in that storm." Jacob took out a cold spoonful of soup, eating it while making eye contact with the Deputy. She looked down at her soup, mixing it around with her spoon.
"Yeah...thanks for that." She said sheepishly, trying to ignore him staring at her. She took a bite of the soup, it definitely looked better in the can than it tasted but she knew it was good for her.
"What are you doing all the way up here in the middle of a snow storm anyway?" Jacob asked, leaning forward on his knees.
"I was hunting actually, I broke through the river between the two hillsides." She rubbed her ears, they were still ringing from the shock of the cold water.
Jacob whistled. "That's a pretty deep spot." He said and the Deputy nodded.
"You don't have to tell me." She shivered and ate more of the slimy soup. A time of silence passed before either one of them said anything. "How did you find me anyway?" She asked looking up at Jacob.
"You weren't that hard to find, you were making so much commotion that damn near anything in this county could have found you." Jacob mixed his can of soup.
"Yeah but why are you even up here? What are you following me or something?"
Jacob let out a huff. "You do know that I have a life of my own, right?" He said sarcastically. The Deputy rolled her eyes and went back to her soup. They were quiet yet again, both of them focusing on their respective gross soups.
The Deputy felt her bandaged side over Jacob's shirt, checking to make sure it hadn't come off while she was sleeping. "You should probably change that." Jacob broke the silence. "That bandage, it was a little damp last night but you fell asleep before I could do anything." The Deputy nodded, agreeing with him.
"I was going to change it last night when I made a fire but...well you know that I didn't get that far." Jacob nodded, setting his empty can on the coffee table. "Where is your first-aid kit?" The Deputy asked.
Jacob stood up and walked over to the cabinet he got the shirt out of, pulling out a yellow medikit. He walked back to the Deputy and set the medikit on the table. "Lift your shirt." He said, again not asking.
"No it's ok I can clean my own wound, I've been doing it all this time." The Deputy said and set her can of soup on the table.
"I wasn't askin'." Jacob said and grabbed a bottle of sterilizer.
"Jacob I'm telling you, I'm doing it myself." The Deputy didn't lift her shirt and kept her arms folded.
"Which one of us is more qualified? A Junior Deputy or a military man with actual medical training?" He asked rhetorically and knelt down in front of her. The Deputy was uncomfortable but yielded, uncrossing her arms and lifting the shirt just above the bandage. Jacob pulled the bandage off, making a low humming noise with his throat. "I figured, this wasn't properly bandaged." He said and set the old, bloody bandage on the coffee table.
"I was in a hurry." The Deputy huffed, leaning farther back into the couch. Every time he touched near her wound she would flinch, not just from pain but also from his rough, calloused hands.
"What even is this? I know it's not a bullet wound and it's definitely not an arrow wound." Jacob asked, pouring some sterilizer into the wound.
The Deputy winced at the stinging pain coming from her wound and grit her teeth. "It's from a stick."
"It's from a stick! One of your goddamn Judges forced me over the edge of a much steeper hill than I remembered it was. I hit a couple trees on the way down." The Deputy let out a slow, long breath as Jacob wiped the sterilizer away with a towel.
Jacob chuckled, it was a deep throaty chuckle, a real chuckle. "Who would have thought, I couldn't break you but a stick and a river could." By his tone the Deputy could tell that he thought the idea was incredulous.
"Well," the Deputy wiggled in her spot, "I guess you're not stronger than nature, Jacob Seed."
That statement made Jacob huff, obviously annoyed that the Deputy was getting her wit back. But he ignored that annoyance and studied her wound more carefully. It was red and irritated, almost like it didn't want to heal. He could see where the stick went in, and where the Deputy yanked it out. "Did you get the stick out?" He asked and the Deputy gave a quick fake laugh.
"Of course I got the stick out, can you please just finish bandaging that?" She looked down and saw his furrowed eyebrows and intense stare.
"I don't think you got all of it out, I think that there's a sliver of wood in there still." The Deputy groaned.
"Look as soon as the snow lets up and my clothes fully dry I'm heading back down the mountain to Fall's End, I'm sure I'll get help from the doctor there, proper help." She added but Jacob shook his head.
"It's already getting infected, did you not notice that?" He barked at her and she felt surprise wash over her. Why in the world would Jacob Seed be worried about her getting an infected wound? If it did kill her, wouldn't that just make his job easier?
"I've been taking care of it, I just needed food so I went hunting. Here just hand me some ointment and a bandage and I'll finish the rest." The Deputy reached for the bandages but Jacob pushed her back into the couch by her shoulder.
Seeing as she was still taxed from her exposure the day before she couldn't really fight him. Even though she wanted to. "You need antibiotics." Jacob instructed.
"Ok, let me just run down to the store really quick! Look around Jacob, we don't have what it takes to fix it now so I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing until I can get to see a doctor." Jacob's face looked angry, but he understood the situation and pulled his hand away from her shoulder. The Deputy watched him carefully as he turned back to the medikit, grabbing her old used bandage and walking around the couch. He didn't say anything but she could tell he had a lot of rage at her that had been building for a while.
She didn't know where he was going or what he was doing, and honestly she figured she was going to get yelled at if she tried to ask him so she just went to grab the ointment and bandages. The area did look pretty bad, but the Deputy knew there was nothing she could really do about it so she pretended to ignore how bad it was. She slathered on some ointment and quickly bandaged it up, making sure it was tight. It hurt a lot, more than it had been hurting but the Deputy just assumed that she'd blown it out of proportion in her head.
"I'm getting more wood." Jacob said gruffly, being quick to grab his jacket and hat. The Deputy didn't say anything, she didn't really know what to say. When he opened the door, a violent rush of windy, snowy air flooded the cabin. He grabbed his axe and marched out the door, closing it firmly behind him.
The Deputy had no idea why he was so mad. Was it possible that her talking back to him like that could get him so upset? It seemed ridiculous in her head, but on paper it almost made sense. He didn't like to be spoken back to, the only one that's ever really been able to put him in his place was Joseph, but that rarely happened.
The Deputy pondered the thought while she stared at the fire. The wind had forced her to pull her blanket up to her chin as she shivered. She looked out at the swirling snow outside the window and shuddered. It had definitely occurred to her that if Jacob hadn't of showed up when he did then she'd already be dead by now. And that wolf would have been enjoying his easy meal.
She tried to come up with an explanation as to why Jacob would have rescued her. She doubted it was because he felt sorry for her. She doubted even more that it was because he was worried about her. Because that was impossible. To Jacob Seed, the Junior Deputy was little more than an experiment, a tough case he was trying to crack. She barely thought that he thought of her as a person, she figured that in Jacob's mind she was only a favor for Joseph. Probably even an obstacle for him to tackle to prove how great at brainwashing he is.
The Deputy realized that her laying half-naked in his hunting cabin to wait out a storm was the pinnacle of inappropriate, and decided that the soup had given her enough energy to start walking. Besides, while she was waiting for Jacob to bring back more wood the wind was dying down. She hoped it would stay that way until she could get down to her truck again.
She gave herself a quick pep talk, telling herself that waiting around on the couch wasn't going to give her energy, that making it would do that. She convinced herself that going downhill was going to be much easier than going uphill and that she'd be fine as long as she buttoned up. Finally she got up, only wobbling a little and took off Jacob's incredibly warm shirt. She replaced his shirt with her tight undershirt and base leggings. Both were cozy and warm from drying by the fire, which the Deputy accepted.
She picked up her pack, which had also been drying by the fire, and shoved a couple spare bandages in it. She finished zipping that up and pulled on her snow clothes, sitting down to get her snow pants on. When she finished lacing up her boots and squeezing on her pack and gun she found a piece of paper to write a note on.
Thanks for rescuing me, maybe we extend that temporary truce to until I get off this mountain? The Deputy's note read.
She set it somewhere that Jacob would see it and added a couple logs to the fire. She grabbed her gloves and hat and trudged out the door, satisfied that everything she'd touched was back to the way it was when she found it. Except Jacob's shirt, that she folded next to the note. When she closed the door, she pulled her jacket up to cover the bottom of her face and started down the mountain.