24 - Reunited: Day Six

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Melanie found herself in Geri's bed again as she woke. She slowly slid out of bed, looking back to make sure she hadn't woken Geri, before creeping back to her own room. She opened the door apprehensively and looked inside. The room was much brighter than the previous evening, with the sun shining through the large picture window that overlooked the city. She stepped inside and closed the door silently behind her.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror, and looked guiltily at the clothes she was wearing. She packed all of the clothes, apart from what she had on, back into the suitcase and quietly opened the door connecting her room to Geri's. She pushed the suitcase inside and checked to make sure she hadn't woken Geri, before closing the door once again. She stepped into the hallway and broke into a cold sweat as the door clicked shut behind her. She looked over at Vern, another one of the girls' bodyguards, who was sitting in a chair a few doors down. He smiled up at her before standing and setting the book that he had been reading onto his chair.

"You're still an early riser," he chuckled, remaining next to his chair to avoid scaring her off. Melanie pressed her back against her door and gripped the knob behind her, attempting to open the door and retreat back into her room. She started to panic as the knob refused to budge.

"Where would you like to go, Melanie?" Vern asked softly. "Would you like to grab something to eat?"

She attempted to pull on the door knob once more, watching Vern with a fearful expression. Tears stung her eyes as she fought to keep from crying.

"Do you want back in your room?" he asked, his smile faltering as he noticed her trying to open her door behind her back. Realizing he had noticed what she was doing, Melanie let her arms drop to her sides, keeping her back pressed against the door. "Would it help if I got your mum or Penny?"

Vern watched her, not knowing how to approach her or what to do to make her feel comfortable. She was obviously terrified of him and he felt the need to show her there was nothing to be afraid of. From where he was standing, he could see her shaking and he wanted nothing more than to beat Otis to a bloody pulp for what he'd done.

He slowly approached Melanie, watching her cringe and press herself tighter against the door of her room. He pulled the card key for her room from his back pocket and held it out to her.

"Here you go, love," he offered. She looked up at the card key and slowly took it from him. Her hand was trembling as she held the card and looked up at him expectantly. He smiled sadly and walked her through how to use the card to open the door. Once the door was open, Melanie hugged her arms to herself and stood with her back to the door, holding it open and waiting expectantly for Vern to enter. She looked up at him before quickly dropping her head and choking back a sob as she moved to take her shirt off.

He looked at her with a horrified expression on his face. "Oh, no," he gasped, putting his hand on her arm to stop her. "Melanie, no. That's not... Sweetheart, I'm sorry. I just thought you wanted to go back into your room."

She looked up at him tearfully, looking confused. She let go of her shirt and looked over at her bed, clutching her stomach with both hands and looking back at him with a panicked expression.

"Fucking hell. What did they do to you?" he gasped. He leaned forward to pull the door closed, wanting to remove some of the tension between them. "Let's go get you something to eat," he suggested as he offered his hand to her. She flinched and looked at him fearfully, taking his hand and allowing him to lead her to the elevator. She continued to watch him out the corner of her eye as the elevator descended to the basement where one of the conference rooms had been set up to serve breakfast to the two bands and their crew. He led her into the conference room and over to one of the buffet tables where he took a plate and held it out to her, encouraging her to go through the buffet to find something to eat.

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