Chapter 1.4Mature

When she could get the hairbrush through easily, she put it down and rinsed the shampoo, before lathering more and washing her hair again.

Once she was satisfied her hair was actually clean, she put some conditioner in. She washed with the conditioner still in, letting the substance work its magic on her hair. It took a lot of soap to get all the grime off but when it was gone, and her hair was rinsed, she actually felt clean. She felt renewed in her own skin now that the dirt was gone.

She turned the shower off and wrapped a towel around herself. She glanced in the mirror, looking much more like her old self. She put her engagement ring back onto her finger, not liking but ignoring the way it swivelled around on the bony digit. She picked up the clothes she’d worn for so long and the stench hit her. How had anyone been able to be near her, let alone hug her? They stank of sweat. She simply dropped them into the bin, not even bothering to wash them; she doubted that any amount of washing powder would get the dirt of.

She went back into her own room, glancing at the curtains to make sure they were drawn before she started drying herself. She did so slowly, letting her mind simply go blank as she fell into the habitually routine of rubbing herself dry with the soft towel. Her mother had been putting fresh towels in her en suite every few days, even though they weren’t being used.

 She dressed in her favourite jeans and a red t-shirt. She judiciously ignored the way she needed a belt with her jeans and the t-shirt fell from her frame as though it had been bought for her father.

She sat at her dresser and dried her hair carefully with the dryer. When it was dry, she got her curling iron out and set to work on her hair. She liked the routine, she liked the way she felt normal again, despite being in the middle of a world of vampires and demons and slaves. A world that she knew she didn’t really belong in, yet she felt more comfortable in that world than she did in any world of humans and normality.

Halfway through doing her hair, she glanced at something in the mirror. Jay was sat on the window seat across the room, a bemused expression on his face.

“How long have you been there?” Beth asked him.

His eyes widened slightly in surprise. “Not long. Five minutes perhaps. When did you start speaking again?” he asked. So that was the cause of his surprise.

“This morning. Isabella came by with news that you and Daniel might be onto something. When was anyone actually going to mention that he’s been there a year now?” she asked, her tone accusatory and harsh.

“Onyx and I wanted to, but Isabella and Mark told us not to. It might have made you even more upset.”

She set the curling iron down and turned around to face him.

The End

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