Chapter 23: The Rules

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I woke before Jeremiah the next morning, and spent a few minutes in bed just soaking in my new life. I stared at my husband sleeping beside me, so peaceful and calm. I always found him beautiful in this state as he was vulnerable in a way that he only could be with me. My skin was chalky, probably a result of allowing the chemicals to sit on my skin for too long. I decided that a shower would help and I carefully slipped out of bed and entered the bathroom on the left side of the room. Once I stepped into the shower, my eyes closed in bliss as the cold water felt good on my burned skin. Once I felt that I scrubbed all of the chemicals from my body, I turned off the shower and wrapped myself in a towel. I then noticed the mirror in the bathroom, and I found myself staring into unfamiliar eyes. My eyes were bright blue, my skin ghostly white, and my hair went from golden to pale blonde. It was like looking at a complete stranger and I gently touched my face to ensure that the person I saw in my reflection was actually me. I suppose it made sense, as Jeremiah had gone through a drastic physical change after both Jerome's chemical spray and the toxic liquid from Ace Chemicals. Lilly Olsen, the innocent and doe eyed brunette was truly gone. I had completely evolved into a new version of myself, similar to my transition to Harleen Quinzel. Except this time, I was no longer hiding my true self. It was as if my external appearance finally matched what was happening inside of me. Jeremiah must have gotten out of bed during my shower because he approached me as soon as he saw me lingering by the mirror. "You're perfect. My Harley Quinn." He repeated the new name he has given me and I smiled. He stood beside me, dressed in a purple dress shirt and dark blue slacks, his hands on my shoulders. "Look how good we look together." He stated, and we truly looked as though we belonged to a set. Our clown-esque appearances mirrored one another and I felt pride swell in my chest and that he had allowed me into this world of his. My eyes then drifted to the dark purple bruises on my neck, evidence of his hands from the night before. I gradually let my towel drop to the floor as I investigated the bite marks, scratches, and bruises that littered my entire body. His eyes followed mine dangerously and then he gently grabbed my neck, and even his light contact made the dark bruises ache. "I'm the only one that gets to mark up your body like this... No one else, you hear me?" He growled possessively into my ear, his eyes meeting mine in the mirror. I held back the moan that wanted to escape from my throat in response. His grip tightened as he brought me flush against him, my naked body pressed to his clothed one. "Answer me." He demanded and I realized that this was a new thing for him. He was in charge of so many criminals now that he was used to them being agreeable and responsive. "Yes, J... I understand." I spoke for the first time that day, and my voice was incredibly raspy due to the damage done on my throat. He suddenly turned me to face him, his hand moving from my throat to my chin as he rewarded me with a kiss. My arms instinctively wrapped around his neck, his large frame overpowering my own and I felt completely engulfed by him. As the kiss heated up, I pressed into him and I felt my body awaken in his presence. "Not so fast..." He said suddenly, abruptly breaking the kiss. I looked at him in complete confusion, not understanding how he could have so much self restraint when we had been starved of one another for years. "I've got a busy day ahead, as do you... We cannot let ourselves get distracted." He concluded before pulling away from me, leaving me naked in the bathroom. When he turned his back to me I rolled my eyes frustratedly and wrapped my towel back around myself. "There are some things you are going to have to learn about being here with me. Some rules that you'll need to follow in order to fit in to this world..." He announced and I found myself intrigued. "Rule number one, what I say goes without question... Rule number two goes along with number one, never embarrass me in front of my men." He stated and I bit my tung and resisted the urge to announce my inability to agree with him all the time. There would be a time and place for me to voice my opinion. "Rule number three, you will not leave this establishment without my explicit permission. Rule number four, the second you feel threatened by someone you are to tell me... The number of people who want to hurt you will have dramatically increased from before as a result of all the new enemies I have made in the past five years." He continued and I found it ironic that he was locking me up in another tower of protection. Some things never change... "Rule number five, do not, under any circumstances, try to carry out a crime alone. I'm a busy man and I don't have time to break you out of jail every time you want to try something new... Besides I've pretty much done them all so if you have a question, ask." He finished and I stood there for a second, just trying to absorb everything that he just told me. "If you're good you will be rewarded and if you're bad, then you'll be punished. I know you are familiar with how this works..." He alluded to our game in the Arkham and my interest spiked. He was the one under intense watch last time, and it would be interesting to be faced with the same challenge he was faced with behind bars. He had learned the tricks and trade of Arkham Asylum, and now it was my turn to learn his world. "Are we clear?" He asked me, breaking me from my thoughts. I looked into his eyes, knowing that I wasn't going to be as much of a stickler about his rules as he was about mine. "Yes." I smirked as a spark of mischief ignited within me. This was going to be fun.

Hey all! I hope you guys like this update! I'm probably going to start doing single chapter updates now, and chapters in groups when I can so that way I can update more often. College is starting again, my first day is tomorrow. Therefore I'm going to get busy again, but with this new updating method and with my determination to keep this story moving, I know I will be updating this story regularly! So what do y'all think? I wanted to flip the cards and put Lilly in the hot seat that Jeremiah was in before, but this time there are no guards or laws to protect her.😉  Also I am so happy Gotham is back! I watched the premiere, and while I'm salty Jeremiah won't show up until episode four (because he really is the star of the show), it was cool to see Ecco tho! Hope you all are well💕

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