When Miller and Player had left that night I had decided to take a bath and so Charlotte told me where all the stuff was that I would need. She told me that she was going to cook something for us and that I shouldn’t take too long in there. Charlotte smiled at me indulgently as if she guessed my plans to soak in the warm water for some time. “I’ll come and get you out if you take too long,” she said as a mischievous light lit her green eyes. “So don’t even think about locking the door!”
I went into the small bathroom and did as I was told and closed but didn’t lock the door. I ran the bath, trailing my hand in the water to check the temperature. Satisfied with it I undressed and slid into the warm water. I relaxed into the heat and let the water cleanse me of everything. I made a small sound of pleasure and allowed myself to slide down the bath to dip my head under the water to get my hair wet. However as the water closed over my face I remembered the torture Mark had called ‘wet’. In this he had held me below water until my lungs were burning and the fear of drowning became very real. At this memory my eyes snapped open and I could almost see Mark looming above me. I panicked and any good feeling of the bath was gone in a flash. I sat up quickly but of course there was nobody holding me down so this movement was easy and I sent water spilling onto the tiled floor. I coughed and spluttered.
“Fucking hell, what’s wrong?” Charlotte appeared at the doorway, pushing the unlocked door open. She scanned the room with a panic of her own but she saw nothing but the water on the floor. She came to my side an put her hand on my arm. “It’s OK baby, there is nobody in .here but us.”
“He is in my head and he won’t come out!” I whined; wrapping my arms around her despite the fact this soaked her. “I only wanted to get my hair wet.” I burst into tears then as the fact we were away from Mark seemed to make no difference. He was still torturing me in my mind and he probably always would be.
Charlotte held me as best she could, soothing me. “You expect too much too soon,” she said softly. “Look, let me wash your hair for you and then you know nothing will happen, right?” I nodded and she reached for the showerhead so that she could wet my hair. I relaxed again as her fingers worked the shampoo into my hair. Charlotte rinsed my hair and then playfully ruffled it. “There you go babes does that feel better?” She stepped away and held out a towel for me to wrap myself in as I clambered out of the bath. “Call me if you need me,” she said as she turned to leave the bathroom.
“Charlotte?” I called and she turned back. “I will always need you.”
She smiled and walked back to kiss me. “You soppy bastard!” she giggled and turned away again. “Come on, dinner is ready and it seems we both need a change of clothes.” I followed her to find that she had sent the agents to my own house to fetch some clothes for me. I loved the fact she had thought of me and clothes as it had not even entered my head.
“Oh, God, thank you!” I found some striped pyjamas and put them on, watching as she changed from her wet clothes. “What’s for dinner?” I asked her as I was suddenly hungry.
She turned to me and smiled. “Macaroni cheese,” she replied, “sorry but until I go shopping there wasn’t much choice.”
I shrugged off her apologies because anything was better than what Mark had chosen to give to me. “Sugar, I love the stuff so it sounds good to me and it smells even better!” I wasn’t kidding; the smell was filling me with pleasure. I went and helped her to dish it up and then we ate at the table chatting about nothing and yet everything. I cleaned my teeth after we ate as she washed up and then I climbed beneath the sheets of the comfortable bed. Charlotte had told me earlier that sharing a bed with me didn’t worry her as we had been sharing a mattress for a while now.
“I am going to take a shower.” Charlotte told me but a wave of exhaustion gripped me so I never heard her come back from the bathroom or even crawl into the bed beside me.