'A bit' the man said with a heavy Scandinavian accent. 'I'm Halden. Can I help you?' He asked with a surprising fluency for his accent.
'Ehm er.... We were lost, we probably missed a turn somewhere. We have no place to sleep tonight but our car, can we maybe....'I said, taking over for Rachel as she was inappropriately staring at the 30-some year old blonde man. He was built big, probably could do with a new bigger bathrobe. He seemed pretty fit for the age I deemed him to be. If he lived here then he would probably do a lot of work around these forests.
'Stay here?' He said, raising his brows up. 'I'm in the middle with something, but maybe we can work something out'. He sighed, stepping aside after having looked at the red Chevrolet we were driving, now parked next to us. 'Get your bags. This won't be the first time. They should really make the exit more clearer'.
Rachel and I mumbled a lot of 'thank you's' while we got our bags out of the car, dragged them over our shoulders and walked inside the cottage. The house inside was nothing fancy, with mostly wood, worn furniture and a couple blankets draping a couch. The kitchen was right next to the door, and was one with the livingroom. There were still two plates and some cutlery soaking in water that probably was still hot a couple hours ago, the soap was long gone, but I saw two of those really old-fashioned looking place. 'Excuse me?' I asked as the man closed the door, locking it behind us. 'But are you alone here or...' I looked unsure at him, not wanting to offend the generous man for giving us a place to sleep.
'No' He answered. 'That was the 'something' I told you I was busy with'. He said, while his breath was calming down a bit more. 'We have a guestroom upstairs that we don't use but it's kind of noisy upstairs now. You'll hear it a lot less downstairs but you won't have a bed here'.
Rachel answered before I could dismiss the offer to sleep upstairs. 'Oh we have earplugs with us!' she called out. 'We don't mind. We're just tired, I'm sure we'll fall asleep trough anything'.
The man gave a sigh and nodded. 'What are your names anyways?' He asked us. 'I would like to know who I'm lending a room to'.
'I'm Rachel Sharpe' she answered quickly. 'We're friends from college. This is Rafael Moreno, but just call him Rafe' she laughed.
'It's easier' I clarified for the man, called Halden, I smiled happy when I said that but he didn't seem to care about anything. 'Look I need to get upstairs'. He said, getting annoyed. 'Just follow me. I have someone to get back to'.
'Oh a wife?' Rachel asked bubbily, not quite understanding the man's need to be quick about this. He shook his head a bit and answered: 'something like that', under his breath.
We followed him upstairs, me going first just to make sure everything was safe. The stairs were a bit old and creaked a lot, but it seemed sturdy enough for us. He showed us an empty room upstairs, there were only three rooms upstairs, but one had a flower-y sign on the door, which had a weird word on it what probably ment to say 'bathroom'.
'Don't go in that other room'. He warned us, 'I'm busy with something in there', he said. While he said that we also heard an impatient moan from that room, calling out for the generous man, Halden. 'Something?' Rachel giggled.
'he's that something' Halden said, giving a deep sigh for us.
'He?' I asked.
'Yes, he. Don't come in' He warned us. 'We won't' I promised him, he was generous enough now for us to even let us stay in this room. The room was pretty dusty, as Rachel was already tearing off the bedlinen and throwing it around a bit to release all the dust into the air.
'It's been a while since we've used the room' Halden told us. Again the man next door called out, annoyed. Followed by a couple knocking noises. 'We'll be fine' I promised him, 'Thank you'. I put my bag on the dusty dresser and started to get ready for bed.
Halden walked backwards and started to move his fingers over the broad edges of the bathrobe. 'I'll be going' He told us as I started to unpack my clothes and some clean underwear. As soon as I turned around I heard the door behind me close with a quick, loud noise. Another noise as a door opened, and a lot of humming noises, that were probably a quick conversation.
'I guess we'll set up camp here' Rachel sighed relieved. 'Nice man. But something is off though' She thought out loud, putting back the bedlinen on the dingy mattress, and on top of that some extra towels, because of the dingy mattress.
'Like what?' I asked her, 'does it matter? He's nice enough to let us stay here for the night, I say we don't look a gifted horse in the mouth', I shrugged laughing. 'There is a lot of dust in here though... the car doesn't smell as bad as this room does, but at least we have a bed here. It is warm and dry... and we might get some breakfast out of it as well'.
'You're right' She sighed. 'But I still don't like the smell. And the weird sounds out of the other room might be going on for the whole night'.
'What are those sounds anyways?' I asked, laying my ear again the wall to try to hear what the hell was happening. 'Well whatever is happening in there or whoever, or whomever... They're having fun' I laughed, walking back up to Rachel again. 'We shouldn't disturb them. Not only because of that... because he asked as well' I reminded her. Rachel was already making her way to the door to 'accidentally' walk into the room to see, her curiosity getting the best of her. I had to physically stop her from bulldozing down the door, pushing her back a few steps. 'No. Just don't'.
Rachel looked annoyed but agreed with a pouting nod. 'Oh stop it' I sighed. 'Don't ruin it, we just got a place here, unless you want to sleep in the car the rest of the night'.
'Oh don't sweat it' she replied, 'I will make sure we can stay the night. It's like you don't have any trust in me anymore' she laughed, pushing her tongue out to me. 'I shouldn't trust you, remember? Who didn't bring the GPS system? Eh?'
'Would you stop with that?' I asked, getting very annoyed with her at this moment. I pulled my shirt off quickly and put on a clean one to sleep in. Just the few seconds in the bare air was giving me goosebumps. 'Isn't there a radiator here or something?' I asked as I looked around for one. I turned a knob on a radiator that I hoped would work. I heard slight little 'ticks' and held my hand against the white, dusty metal. 'Oh, good lord it works' I sighed.
In the middle of the night I woke up from a faint sound, floorboards creaking and light little footsteps. 'Rach?' I asked sighing as I woke up, shieling my eyes from the flashlight off her phone by leying my arm over them. 'Wha-... where the hell are you going?' I sighed. 'Stay here....' I patted on her side of the bed a couple times.
'I have to pee...' She whispered. 'I am.... going to see if the room on the end of the hallway is the bathroom'.
'You're going to see who's in that room, aren't you?' I asked, sleepy.
'No I'm not.....' she proclaimed defensively.
'I'm too tired for this' I said as I turned around again and hugged a pillow, turning my back towards her. 'Whatever you do, if you get us kicked out of here, it'll be your fault. You'll pay for the next hotel'. Rachel gave a high-pitched squeak and rattled something that probably ment 'promised' or something. Me being too sleepdrunk to check with her I closed my eyes again. 'Just don't get us kicked out of the bed'. The last thing before I fell asleep was the slight 'click' of the door behind her, a couple of quick steps, then another slight click that opened the door to the room opposite of ours.
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