When Butler found Artemis, he was locked away in his study. Luckily, Butler had a spare key to the room, because he really didn’t want to have to knock his charge’s door in.
“Couldn’t you have at least knocked?” the boy demanded, not even looking up from his laptop.
“Your privacy is the least of my worries right now, Artemis. You could have killed her!”
“I know. Didn’t you hear me say that I don’t care?”
“You should care! Artemis, this is serious! Look at me.” The boy didn’t move, so he snatched the laptop from his hands, closed it, and threw it to the side.
“Hey!” he exclaimed.
“What is with you lately?” Butler demanded. “Why can’t you just treat her like a human being for once?”
“She isn’t human, so why should I treat her like one?”
“That’s not even good logic, Artemis. She may not be human, but she still feels and has feelings like one! Don’t be so ridiculous! What has she done to you that has made you hate her so much?”
“She’s a little ingrate, she’s nothing but rude, and she does everything she can to make me mad. She also follows no direction that I give to her, no matter what they are. She fights me every step of the way, no matter what I do for her.”
“More like what you do to her! You’ve screamed and yelled at her, you’ve threatened her, you drugged and kidnapped her, and you’ve even tortured her once!”
“Twice,” he corrected, now past worrying about Butler finding out.
“Okay, so you’ve tortured her twice,” Butler ground out furiously. “I told you this can’t happen, Artemis, and I meant it. If it’s what it takes to keep you from hurting her, I’ll lock her in a room again and make sure only Juliet and myself are allowed in it, one of us guarding at all times. Whatever it takes.
“But you’re turning into some kind of monster, Artemis. I don’t like it, and I sure as heck am going to find a way to change it. Or at the very least put a limit on it. Mark my words, this won’t happen again.” He took a deep breath, shook his head, and turned toward the door.
“What? Leaving so soon?” Artemis asked quietly.
“I’ve said my piece, now I’m going to check on Captain Short. But do remember what I said, Artemis, because I mean it. I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again. And as for this time… I will say you’re lucky it was me who caught you,and caught you when I did. This could have ended a lot worse, and I don’t just mean for her.”
Then he turned and walked out the door, shutting it behind him with considerably more force than necessary, leaving Artemis alone in his study.