This is a sequel to my other Julian Priest story called "The Interview." You can find that one on my profile! Thanks to raredeadly for the beta!
Drew is bent over the toilet bowl, throwing up the entire contents of her stomach. Priest stands by the bathroom door, highly amused at her predicament and a little impatient to return to work on his newest piece of art.
"Are you quite finished?" Priest asks while Drew is moaning into the toilet.
She lifts her head and turns to scowl at him. Sweat sheens her forehead, and her skin is a green color. Priest ignores her look of indignation and continues, "I still need you to assist me…that is what I have hired you for."
"How can you breathe in there, let alone work on that damn thing?" she grimaces. "It smells like–"
"Death," he interrupts. "Yes, of course it does, considering it's a dead body." He hands her a glass of water. She takes it and rinses her mouth, spitting into the toilet. "It might help if you breathe through your mouth," Priest suggests, "then you won't smell it."
"Yea, and then I can taste it instead."
"Don't be ridiculous; you can't taste death unless you lick the fucking corpse." He walks over to her. "That's just psychosomatic."
"It's all in your head." He softly pokes her temple.
She shrinks away, and he pulls his hand back. It's been a little over two weeks since she started the job, but she's still jumpy around him. He continues as if nothing happened, "Now get on your feet; there is much to be done and you are wasting time." He turns and walks out of the bathroom, expecting her to follow.
She flips him the finger as he disappears through the door and then she flushes the toilet. Fucker.
"Why isn't he embalmed?" she asks as she trails after him, "He won't last very long as an exhibit; he's already decomposing."
"Because we are doing the embalming," he answers with a smile as he continues walking to the penitentiary morgue located in the basement. "And, we will try to restore him as well. Those idiots didn't properly account for how much dry ice they would need."
"Where did you get the body anyway?"
"China!" He seems awfully enthusiastic. "You'd be surprised how easily it is to get these sorts of things with the right price and the right connections."
He pushes through the double doors and steps inside. The smell of decay hits Drew. She gags, covering her mouth and nose with a hand. She follows him into the morgue, pinching her nose shut. She freezes. Now that she is taking a good look at the corpse instead of running away with vomit in her mouth, she realizes that something is very off about the dead man on the mortuary table.
"Mr. Priest…" Her voice is nasally since she is still squeezing her nostrils.
"Yes, Miss Drew?" he replies as he stands over the body and starts putting on a pair of rubber gloves.
"Why is there a hole through his head?"
Priest pauses and glances over the corpse. "Ah yes, this poor sod here was executed and then immediately delivered to us."
"He did something or another that have caused him to get the death penalty. In China, their choice in execution is a bullet through the head. Cheap, easy, and fast—kind of like a few fans I have met over the years. Come closer, Miss Drew, how are you going to help me standing so far away?"
Drew still stands a few meters from him. "How the hell are we going to restore that? Half his face is gone!"
"We won't be restoring his face," he answers as he starts fiddling around with the embalming equipment. "We will be restoring his body and make him look a little more…fresher."
She blinks and replies, "Oh, I see," though clearly not understanding—at all. She cautiously walks over to him and sees a surgical mask lying amongst the equipment. She takes it and immediately puts it on. It does absolutely nothing for the smell, but it makes her feel better. What's left of the man's face is covered in gore, as is his clothing. Drew swallows thickly and turns an even odder shade of green.
"Here," Priest says as he hands her a pair of rubber gloves, "put these on."
"I'm allergic to–"
"Latex, yes, I know. These are latex-free gloves."
She takes the gloves from him and snaps them on. "How did you know I'm allergic?"
"Medical records. I had to make sure you had a strong mental history and no disorders or illnesses. Help me cut off his clothes." He hands her a pair of scissors.
She takes it from him. "Don't you need one of these?" She points to the mask on her face.
"For a living model, not for the already deceased," he smirks, "and not for this kind of procedure."
She glowers under her mask and starts snipping at his shirt, careful not to harm the flesh. Priest moves to the dead man's feet and removes the shoes and socks. He takes another set of scissors and starts cutting at the corpse's pants. When Priest has finished cutting up the man's pants and takes it off, she cringes at the sight of the genitals and quickly looks elsewhere. Her eyes accidentally lands on the huge, gaping hole in the corpse's head and she cringes from that as well. Having nowhere else to look that would cause her to see something unpleasant, she stares intently at his chest as she quickly finishes up with the shirt.
"Right," he sighs as she pulls the shirt from the body to throw it into a trash bin, "you can start washing the body, while I work on relieving the rigor mortis."
She picks up the showerhead.
"Oh," he adds, "make sure you clean his head thoroughly." He grins at her.
She narrows her eyes at him but doesn't say anything. She starts rinsing the body off while he bends, flexes, and massages the dead man's limbs, trying to work the stiffness from the body. She brings the showerhead to the corpse's skull. Bits of brain and skull well up from the cavernous void and slide off the man's disfigured face. She gags and looks up towards the ceiling for a few moments until she is sure nothing else will float out.
As she turns off the shower and starts on the disinfectants and germicides, she asks, "What is this piece about anyway?"
"Ironically, an execution."
She raises her eyebrows. Priest continues, "An associate of mine recommended I procure a body from a Chinese prison; they're inexpensive and already shot in the head—I wouldn't even have to buy a gun to do it myself. Although we do need to work on the body; make it look like a fresh kill."
"We're talking about a man here," she said with her voice low, a bit appalled by his lack of concern.
Priest stops what he's doing to regard her. He sneers, "Yes, a prisoner who's stupid enough to get caught and sentenced to death – or stupid enough to get framed. Whatever it is, he most likely got what he deserved."
She's affronted. "How can you–"
"I am a monster," he interrupts, face cold and completely free of emotion; all previous jest and arrogance gone. She gapes at him; he adds, "You know this very well, and you have agreed to work with this monster. Now get to work, or get out."
She closes her mouth and seems effectively chastened. Looking away from Priest, she continues disinfecting the body. He studies her for a few seconds before he continues as well. They work in silence until she finishes cleaning the corpse and he's done reducing the stiffness. She finally breaks the silence, "Now what?"
"Now?" he reiterates with a disturbing chuckle. He suddenly flips the body off the table so it falls toward her. She shrieks at the top of her lungs as she backpedals, just managing to miss the body from collapsing on top of her. The corpse falls to the floor with a sick crack.
"Now we get to the fun part!" he shouts, his face split into a grin, as he lands a swift kick at the dead man's torso.
She backs away from him until she hits the wall. She stares at him as he turns the body over and continues to strike the cadaver.
"What—what the hell are you doing?"
"What does it look like?" he answers without looking up from his work. "I'm mutilating a corpse!"
She blinks rapidly for a few seconds before yelling, "Is there a method to your madness or are you just insane?"
He stops stepping on the dead man's limbs and turns to face her. He's breathing heavily from his exertions. Something predatory flashes in his eyes and he stalks over to her, ripping his gloves off his hands. Her breath catches in her throat and her eyes grow to the size of saucers. She presses herself even closer against the wall. He stands close, far too close to her body. "I am so glad you've asked that, Miss Drew."
She turns her head away. He leans in closer to say into her ear, "In fact, there is a reason why I'm defacing this corpse." He brings one of his hands up close to her face, about to smooth her hair back.
"You said you wouldn't touch me again!" She stutters her words.
He pauses, fingers inches away from her skin. He smiles mischievously. "I'm not touching you." He slowly brings his hand closer to her. He makes a motion of cupping her cheek, but never making contact. He's barely a centimeter away; he moves his hands up and down deliberately, like he would if he were to stroke her skin. She can feel the heat radiating against the side of her face.
"Sto–" her voice falters, but she quickly clears her throat and says firmly, "Stop."
Priest brings his hand to the side of her neck, still not touching her. "This piece isn't just about an execution, it's also about agony—suffering unto the very last breath," he softly mumbles, looking quite entertained at her situation. "The bruising won't show if we embalm him first and then inflict the wounds. Of course, these are post mortem bruising, and someone with a trained eye can easily tell. Lucky for us, not many people fit in that category."
She is trembling faintly; her stare is fixed on some random spot on the floor. He observes her for a few seconds before backing away. He turns and his previous cheerful tone is restored. "Now, help me lift the body onto the table. I think he's had enough." He chortles at his own joke.
Drew swallows nervously as she pushes herself away from the wall. This guy is nuts, bipolar, schizophrenic; completely unstable. Oh geez…. She warily follows him.
He pulls on a clean pair of rubber gloves and says, "I'll take his shoulders; you take his legs."
She places her hands under the corpse's knees—trying to not look at him directly—and Priest places his hands under the corpse's shoulders. "Count of three," he states, "one, two, three – lift." Grunting, they bring the body back onto the table.
He stands and places his hands at his waist. Sighing, he studies the corpse. Drew waits cautiously, twiddling her fingers and looking at Priest. "Alright," he announces a little too loudly, causing her to jump. "I'll work on the embalming, there's nothing much you can do to help with that since you don't know the process. Go finish up some paperwork; I shall call you when I need you."
She turns and makes her way towards the exit, trying her very best to not dash away. She takes off her gloves and surgical mask and tosses them into the trash bin near the door. She steps out and, the moment she is out of his sight, she breaks into a run. She sprints up the stairs, down the hallway, through Cellblock 14, and finally to her "office." It's actually just one of the cells with the bed removed and large desk in its place. Priest also gave her a remote control that could close and lock her cell door, though she's not too sure why. The only other person in this entire prison is Priest himself, and he has the master remote and master keys, if he wanted to snoop around her stuff (which is mostly his stuff) he could do so easily. If he decides to go crazy and wants to attack her, he could waltz right into her cell with a click of a button or a twist of a key. Locking herself in would only succeed in trapping her, caged like a dog—no, no, not going there. Not going to think about it. Don't think about it.
She presses her lips together and slumps into her chair. She grabs the top file from a big stack of papers, flips it open, and begins filling it out. The adrenaline rush from her previous scare starts to fade after a few minutes. Crashing after the excitement, combined with weeks of poor sleep and boring paperwork, makes her eyelids grow heavy; then close of its own accord. Her head droops towards her chest.
She suddenly snaps awake to an absurdly intense brightness shining into her eyes. Blinded, she blinks a few times and lifts her arms to cover her eyes but realizes she can't move at all. There is a clinking noise every time she tries to change position. When she regains the ability to see, she discovers that she's no longer in her cell and that she's squinting up at a cluster of florescent lighting. She looks around and—oh, God—she realizes she's back in that gynecological chair…naked.
The chair is positioned mostly upright this time; her wrists are handcuffed to the armrests and her ankles are handcuffed to the stirrups. She tries to close her legs, but only manages to touch the sides of her knees together. She furiously yanks at her restraint, causing the metal of the shackles to bite into her skin. She begins to panic and hyperventilate, barely holding back her sobs and tears. A desperate high-pitched keening sound escapes from the back of her throat, sounding very much like a wounded animal.
Her actions abruptly halt and she freezes. She feels something move between her legs. She couldn't see past her thighs because they are touching at this weird angle with her ankles still spread apart, but something is definitely moving around down there. She's holding her breath, hoping it's just fear playing tricks on her mind. She's too scared to open her thighs and take a look. All of a sudden, she feels something wet and hot brush against a very intimate area. She squeaks loudly and flings her legs apart. She looks down to see Priest kneeling before her, also naked and a bit amused at her reaction. He snakes his tongue out and slowly, very slowly, licks her once. Her breath hitches and she makes a choked noise.
She tries to press her legs together again—not that that would do anything to help since her ankles are still very much chained to the stirrups. He shoots his hands out and presses them to her inner thighs, running his hands up and down the skin a few times. He pushes at her knees and forces her legs further apart, taking a moment to inspect her, a slight smirk playing on his lips. She blushes a deep red and, again, tries to bring her legs together. He firmly presses on her knees once and makes a tsk sound of disapproval. Running his hands back down to her inner thigh, he presses his lips against her core, watching her face intently. He passes his tongue up and down her folds, so agonizingly slow, making her flesh aflame. She clenches her jaw and arches, trying to press herself into him. He places his hands on her hips and forcefully pushes her back down on the chair. He slides his tongue up to her clit and then gently sucks; her toes curl and she grabs onto the arm rests, knuckles turning white. He teases her and she's close, so very close. Just as she was about to find her release, he stops and pulls away from her.
She groans in frustration and her head rolls against the back of the chair. He chuckles as he stands and leans into her, rubbing the tip his desire against her center. She hisses in longing.
"Do you want this?" he asks, voice deep and husky. He splays his fingers across her ribs.
She's gasping in anticipation and nods her head slightly.
He rubs himself against her again and she bites her bottom lip. "Do you want me?" He leers at her, raising a single eyebrow.
She nods again. "Yes…" she breathes.
He presses himself to her—almost entering her—as he leans in and whispers into her ear, "I think you need you wake up."
Confused, she swallows and says, "What?"
"Wake up!" he screams into her ear.
She starts and finds herself falling; then landing on her ass painfully. Panting, and darting her eyes frantically, she finds herself back in her cell, fully clothed. Priest is gazing down at her scornfully. She blinks up at him from the floor—oh. "Did you have a nice nap?" he asks in a biting tone.
"Good, I'm glad! Now get back to work before I lock you in a closet with the rotting corpse of a clown!"
She snaps to attention and gets on her feet.
"I need you to get some restorative wax and mortician's makeup. You can get them at this address—" He hands her a slip of paper. "—and do hurry up."
She takes the slip of paper and starts walking away dutifully, although she feels equal parts a rising headache and sexual frustration. She has been having those kinds of…nightmares…for weeks now, ever since that night…
She walks out of the prison gates, scrubs a hand over her face; then glances back to the towering structure. She doesn't want to think about the nightmares and what they might mean. She doesn't want to think about what might or might not be wrong with her. She doesn't want to think about him. She quickly walks away from the building and towards her car.
Stay tuned for the chapter two!