Chapter 27

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James led us through hallways as we trailed behind, and I just prayed that he would take us to our cells and nothing more; although I doubted it. Once we had walked through the third hall the lights grew dimmer, and Harry and I both looked at one another, puzzled.

"Uh, neither of our cells are back here," Harry told him, and I was proud of him for controlling his anger. Or at least, so far.

I had been clinging on to any small piece of hope that I could grasp, hope that James wouldn't risk doing us any harm. But that hope disintegrated when he stopped dead in his tracks, forcing us to stop behind him.

"I know," he said. And my heart threatened to beat out of my chest with the fear of what was to come. It was crazy, really, how little I knew James. I had been so quick to trust him, so naive these previous months. And I could only help but wonder, would we have still been in this danger, would Harry still hate James this much, if I hadn't ever become "friends" with him? I guess there was no way to know, but what I did know was that the James I thought I knew did not exist. All that I saw before me was a completely different man, a personified version of evil.

It was as if a switch had been flipped, as James' mask was carelessly tossed away to reveal his true self. His whole aura had changed; somehow he just radiated danger. Maybe it was the sudden darkness of his eyes, the sly knowing grin of his lips, or the superior confidence that his mother usually wore. It was hard to see at first, since he was facing away from the two of us. But as he turned ever so slowly - as if he wanted to relish in the moment, eyeing the walls of the dark and vacant hall around him - this sudden shift was blindingly clear. His eyes didn't meet mine or Harry's at first as he looked past us, like we were unworthy of his gaze.

His condescending smirk grew and so did my fear and Harry's anger. But no matter how furious Harry could possibly become, I was still grateful to have him here with me.

Finally James looked to Harry and I, and then down to our intertwined fingers. "Aw," he purred mockingly. "Aren't you two cute."

"What the hell do you want James?" I demanded. I didn't want this to get too far; it was better he got it over with, whatever it was.

"I just wanna talk," he shrugged. But the deceitful grin had yet to fade.

"About what?" Harry demanded, probably wanting to get this over with as much as I did.

"You guys," he replied simply. "I mean, honestly, you're hilarious. Star-crossed lovers who are locked up together in a mental institution, holding hands and talking at lunch like you're an actual couple. Really, you guys are adorable."

I looked to Harry, expecting him to say something, but he just glared at the guard.

"But what would Emily think?" James asked rather quietly, his smile only growing. Of all the things he could've said I was not expecting that. But once the words were out my whole body filled with dread; this was not a good road to go down.

"What the fuck did you just say?" Harry asked, his voice rumbling deeper as he removed his hand from mine and stepped forward.

"Harry," I urged, the words coming out as more of a plead than a demand. I prayed that James wouldn't say anything more, but once again my prayers were unanswered.

"You heard me. I wonder what she would think of the two of you." He seemed to be taking this as a joke, his grin wide as if he were trying to keep himself from laughing.

I knew if any talk of Emily continued Harry would lose it. He already wanted to kill James, but uprooting this subject was a bad idea. I stepped to him and grabbed his arm tightly, trying to get him to listen. "Don't listen to him, Harry. He's Ms. Hellman's son, you do anything and she'll be furious," I whispered to him.

It was impossible to tell whether he heard what I said or not; all I could do was hope and wait while James pushed on. He knew exactly what he was doing. I didn't know why, but for some reason he wanted Harry angry.

"I don't think she would like it, to be honest."

Harry remained silent. If he could only stay controlled for just a little longer, maybe it would be okay. Just until James was finished with his little game. But I could almost see his mind reeling, bad memories of Emily and James' actions probably fueling his firing hatred; and I could tell that he wouldn't be contained for much longer.

But of course, James continued. "I bet she wouldn't like being abandoned again."

And then Harry spoke. "What are you talking about?"

James chuckled, shaking his head. He waited for an answer but it didn't come. "James, what the fuck are you talking about?" he demanded, shoving James by his shoulders. One shove; I guess that wouldn't do any harm, he was allowed at least a shove.

James only chuckled deeper and longer than before. "It was your fault, Harry. You forgot her and she screamed for you, God, did she scream, but you never came. She cried and yelled, each second wondering why you weren't there to save her."

"Harry, don't listen to him," I said immediately, digging my fingers into his arm, hoping for him to at least look in my direction; but I was given nothing. His eyes were fixed dead on James. His jaw became prominent and his fists clenched, his muscles growing tense under my grasp. This had happened before, I had seen Harry angry more than once. But this time was different. It was something beyond even his own control. His body shook and he closed his eyes, trying to take deep breaths but failing as they grew ragged. There was a battle going on inside his mind to stop the battle that was to come.

Even then, even with Harry about to explode with a wrath that even I was scared to see, James wasn't finished. "She was a pretty girl, Harry. She was one of my funnest victims, and I actually wanted to thank you. I'm glad you were heartless enough to abandon Emily while I raped her and skinned her alive."

And then I didn't even try to stop him. There was absolutely nothing I could do. Harry shouted in anger and lunged at James, grabbing him by the waist and pushing him into the wall with such force it shook the ground beneath me. He pulled back only to quickly grab ahold of James' collar with both hands, slamming him back into the wall. "I'll fucking kill you!" Harry shouted, his booming voice echoing through the corridor. People would hear, people would come and Harry would get punished to an extremity beyond imagination. But as he treated James like a doll, throwing him to the ground, I knew that there would be no stopping him. This was a man that had burned his own father alive, a man that had put someone in a coma just by smashing their head against the wall. This was a man who's hidden darkness I would never fully understand. He was also a man of passion and love, but right now love was what fueled his hate.

He was on James in a second, his tall frame and insane anger being no match for the helpless guard. And for one awful, selfish moment I was glad. I wanted Harry to kill him, I wanted him dead. But that want suddenly disintegrated when I realized what immense trouble he would get into and what a huge mess this was. That wasn't the only reason I wanted Harry to stop though, but the second reason was harder to admit. The veins grew in his neck and his eyes were wild. And maybe it was just because his teeth were gritted and his jaw was clenched, but I thought I was a hint of a smile on his face. I wanted him to stop because I was scared of him.

His fist came down into James' jaw while he lied helpless. Then again, and again, and again, one fist after the other. With each sickening crunch blood spewed from his mouth. I ran to Harry to stop him, managing to grab a hold of his arm but it was quickly ripped from my grasp. At the end of the hall I saw two guards rushing toward us. No, make that three.

I panicked, and with each slam of Harry's fist I screamed. I screamed for him to stop and screamed that there were people coming but he either didn't listen or didn't care. There was the sound of footsteps running and Harry punching and me yelling. It was chaos.

Soon the guards were merely feet from us but Harry didn't stop. They had to physically rip him away from James' wrecked body, and only then did Harry's bloody, cut fists halt in their motion. Before he could even protest they had a needle in his arm. He sucked in breath as the sedatives entered his blood stream, but he didn't fight back. I mean he wriggled a little at first but quickly gave up, knowing that it was a lost cause. What's done is done, and now came the consequences.

"Don't hurt him!" I shouted, not that they would listen. As if to make matters worse down the hall came Ms. Hellman. The corridor that was once vacant aside from a few rooms and dim lights was now filled with the warden, two patients, and three guards - one of them bloodied, bruised, and unmoving from head to toe.

She reached us quickly and took a look at her son. Instead of getting angry, crying, or even rushing over to her him to check if he was alive, Ms. Hellman remained calm. Her stone-cold features didn't hold even a flicker of emotion. "Take him to room 204, I'll deal with him there. Don't start without me."

"What's in room 204? What are you going to do to him?" I wondered, my voice much more afraid than I wanted it to.

"And take her too, get her out of here," Ms. Hellman said, disregarding my question. One guard grabbed my right arm, the other on Harry's left as they dragged us along leaving behind Ms. Hellman and one other guard. I didn't put up a fight, complying as we walked down the hallway.

Harry's body was slumping and his eyelids drooped a little with the drugs flowing through him, still breathing heavy from his previous actions. It seemed to take him everything he had to lift his head and turn it to face me. "I'm sorry, Rose," he breathed, whispering the words. "I'm so sorry."

"It's okay, Harry," I told him, although it wasn't. Not that I was upset with him or anything, I mean most people would have gotten revenge on someone like James if he were to do to their loved one what he had done to Harry's. But I was not okay, because I was terrified of what Ms. Hellman would do to Harry. The whipping was too much to bear and anything worse than that was unthinkable.

"Where are you taking him?" I asked again. No answer. "What's in room 204?"

Nothing. I was obviously not getting anywhere with them. So I just kept walking, my silence due to there being nothing to say and Harry's due to him being half asleep as he was practically carried down the hall.

But after a few turns we stopped all too soon. We were somewhere near the area that contains the surgery room and nurses office, I could tell. In front of us sat a white door with a small black sign near the top. 204.

"Where are we?" I asked, but once again my efforts to get a response from the guards were unsuccessful. With one hand the guard furthest from me knocked on the door and stood back. The person on the opposite side swung it open, revealing a dark-haired man wearing a sort of lab coat. This couldn't be good. I was about to throw up any second. "Here, Ms. Hellman wanted us to bring him to you. But she wants to take care of him, told us not to start without her."

The man in the lab coat nodded as they traded Harry off, handing his limp-growing body over. Before I could even get a last look at his face the door shut, a blank white space and black sign replacing his image. "Someone please tell me what the hell they're doing to him! What's that room for?!"

Finally one of the guards turned to me, saying the last thing I wanted to hear. "Electroshock therapy."

Just then Ms. Hellman approached, ignoring us and swiftly entering the room. Usually this wouldn't be a problem. Normally this treatment would be helpful to a patient with something like depression or schizophrenia. But Harry didn't have either of these things, which meant that Ms. Hellman obviously wouldn't be using it to help him. And there were times when it could go wrong. If too much was used or if it wasn't done correctly it could go horribly, terribly wrong.

And when I heard Harry's muffled cry of pain from behind the closed door, I had a bad feeling that it did.

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