Chapter 14

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Daria Morrison sat on the edge of the bed gripping the sheets tightly and staring into space. Her facial expression was vacant, slackened but her eyes that showed how terrified she was. Her mind felt empty; drained of the essence of life, - Daria was so used to her over brimming thoughts that kept her too alive.- Every time she heard the creaking of the floor boards, the wind blowing against the windowpane or any noise indicating kinetic energy she would flinch and tense. Even though the toxin was slowly draining from her body the psychological imprint remained firm and unwavering.

"You're a mess," Jonathan smiled at her from the doorway and then approached her so that she began to retreat to the center of the bed. His hand reached out to her and the breath was snatched from her throat. She thought he was going to hurt her and so she closed her eyes, holding very still. Instead he brushed away the greasy matted lock of dark brown hair that had been hanging over her right eye. "Shall we get you into a bath?" The way his magnetic blue irises stayed so focused on her made it impossible for her to decline. She nodded her head slowly. He walked over to the alcove bathroom to run the water.

Daria slowly inhaled the calm scent of lavender extract which Jonathan had sweetly thought to put in the water of the bath for her and then walked towards the bathroom where Jonathan sat on a stool, testing the temperature in the water of the bath. He turned to where Daria the zombie stood and slowly unbuttoned her blouse. He stopped half way down when he realised that Daria was unbuttoning his top as well.
"Do you want to share the bath with me?" The question was phrased almost as if he was talking to a child.
"Yes," her voice was a whisper grazing her lips, her voice slowly returning. They continued removing clothes. Jonathan got in the bath first and Daria second, laying herself so that the back of her head rested on his upper chest. They lay in silence for almost half an hour, enjoying the tranquil and sensual peace.

"My father... used to force his fear toxin into me when I was a teenager. He keep doing so until I was hospitalised because the hallucinations didn't wear off like usual. When my dad died I instinctively took up his line of business, I find fear so interesting, so brilliant and powerful. I don't regret the pain I was subjected to, it made me successful as a scientist." Jonathan's voice vibrated in his chest. Daria enjoyed the feeling. She wanted to know more about Jonathan. His story resonated with her.

"The man I feel like I love forces his fear toxin into me in the name of psychology. I can hardly remember my life before now. I feel as though who I was before has died; all the buzzing thoughts, all the energy and life hasn't come back... I don't think it ever will." She felt Jonathan shift slightly beneath her. Scarecrow adored everything she was saying, whereas Jonathan felt his own empathy for her suffering.
"It will end. You're almost a master of fear like myself Daria; Immune to its torment." His warm hand tilted her head up so that their lips could connect.

Daria listened to the silence. Jonathan's gentle heartbeat was faintly audible. His skin was delightfully to her slightly cold touch.
"If you can turn that dial there-" He pointed to the vinyl player that sat on the fold out table a half-meter away. "- Then the music will start playing," Daria reached over with her little amount of strength she had and turned the dial. Travis' 'The boy with no name' began to spin. The music melted into the background while the two lay together in a tranquil ecstasy.

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