The Loft of an Artist

Yeah there's a storm on the lose
Siren's in my head
Wrapped in silence
All circuts are dead.
Twilight Zone by Golden Earring

"How the hell do you know my name?" You can feel her eyes on the back of your head. Willow ducks past you on the stairs and stands on the landing before her door. She looks at you as she inserts the key in the lock. "Don't say a single word about the condition of my studio, or it's out on your ass for you." She opens the door and stepps in, letting you enter. She runs over to a sculpting board and hastily throws a cloth over it.

"Close the door behind you. So what should I call you, eh? Any name pop into your head?" Jason. "Something you'd like me to call you until you can figure out who you are?"

Willow smirked slightly. "To the best of my knowledge, you've never been here. The bathroom is the first door on the left. I have some clothes that my models use occasionally, though I'm not sure I have something that'll fit you. I'll check while you're doing what it is you need to do."

Willow started to walk towards the hallway leading to the small rooms in the back. As she passes you she looks you over once. "No funny business in the bathroom. If you've got anything illegal on you, get rid of it right now. And I'm asking you again. How did you know my name?" You really don't know. You feel suddenly very hungry, ravenous even.

Willow's stomach growls rather loudly at this point, ruining the gruff demeanor she tries to project. A hint of red creeps into her cheeks as she looks at you,pretending that nothing happened.

"I don't know. Would you prefer Sara? I don't suppose you have anything to eat either?" A puppy dog look. "I am ravenous."

He takes a quick shower, checking his injuries more thoroughly. He goes through his clothes trying to find anything that would give him a clue as to who he might be.

The bathroom is tiny but clean and servicable. There nothing in your clothing but you are wearing a shoulder holster, empty, and there is a pair of mirrorshades in your jacket pocket. A photograph of Sara is in the back pocket along with a foil wrapped candy bar (Snickers) that you dig into, stepping out of the bathroom and nearly right into Willow, who gapes at your naked form, speechless for a moment.

Willow looked him over with a professional eye after she recovered from the surprise. She tore her eyes away from the study of his physique and looked up at his face. "Here's the clothes for you to wear. Put them on before you come back into the kitchen." Her eyes narrowed. "What are you eating? It better not be any of the towels or the face cloth."

Grins at her expression and hold out the snickers bar, "Snickers. Clothing? Thank you." He dresses, not quickly or slowly. Slowly he stands up. Looking at her thoughtfully. Why do I have her picture? A gun? Well, a holster anyway. Was I trying to find her? Why?

"You indicated that you know something about me. Could you please tell me? And a little less sarcasm would be nice."

He sits down on the closest chair. "And thank you. You did not have to help me. Why did you?"

You can see a bit of guilt in her face at the comment on sarcasm. She hides it well. "Let's just say that I have a tendency to pick up strays," Willow replies, indicating the various cat food and water bowls on the floor, a smile softening her words. "Their highnesses seemed to have moved on to their next stop."

She sat down cross legged on her chair and looked at the man who had come crashing into her life. "What do I know about you? I have to say not very much. I don't know your name, or where you come from. I just knew what you looked like, where you were, and that I had to be there for some reason. How?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Let's just say I happened to be in the right place at the right time. After all, you're the one who got into my car and passed out. What else was I supposed to do? Push you out into the street and leave you there? In that neighbourhood? I couldn't do that. Besides, I had a really bad… feeling about that place." She shakes her head as if trying to get rid of a mental image. "I'm going to have to come up with a name for you. I've thought of a couple. Which do you prefer? Ed, Bill, Clay, or perhaps Buck." A wry grin touched Willow's lips.

"Buck? Buck??" He laughed. "No, I think I could do without that one. It doesn't matter, whatever you like will be fine. I can't pay for the clothes or the food or the help. Perhaps we could take it out in trade." Again he smiled, a little boy smile. "Though I have no idea what skills I could offer you. I'm strong, in good shape, relatively. That's about all." The phone rings.

"Clay it is, then. Help yourself to the cookies, but please leave some for me. We'll work out a repayment plan later." Willow moved over to the counter where the receiver to her cordless phone was sitting. Just as she reached it, it started ringing.

He leaves a few cookies on the plate, and rummages in the fridge for something else to fill the hole in his stomach. Deal with one hole at a time. Hunger is something I can take of relatively easily. Memories. That's another thing. He glances sideways at the woman.

"Something came up. I'm working on…" Willow's eyes darted to the man, "a new project. It's in a very critical stage right now, and I can't afford to leave. I'm running some tests on some clay, checking the properties of it. If I leave now, it'll be ruined. Mother, listen. I really have to go. There's a million things I still have to do and they're very important. I'm sorry I wasn't home for dinner, but you know how things get when you're working. The sample I'm working on is just about ready. Gotta go, bye." Willow finished in a rush, hanging up the phone. She quickly ran over to the answering machine and turned it on, setting it to pick up on the very first ring.

Where have I seen her before? Why doesn't she remember? She was naked. Were we drunk? That might explain the vague feelings of knowing each other. Sigh. Of all the things I miss, I miss my mind the most.

Do I have family?

Bringing the head of lettuce with him, he walked around the loft, unconsciously going over its defenses. One door, a lot of windows. Does it have a roof entrance? The couch looks comfortable, big enough for two. Nice sculptures. Maybe I've been to one of her shows? Well I must like lettuce. He looks at core, the only thing left. No TV. Papers? Radio?

He wanders into the bathroom, relieves himself and looks for something for headaches, going through her medicine cabinet.

She has a rather vast collection of sleeping pills and vitamin tablets. There is a bottle of Advil and some extra strength aspirin as well.

As you are taking the Advil, Willow calls through the door, "I'm making spaghetti. Do you remember if there's anything you're allergic to?"

You reply, "Well, no… and just what sort of tests are you running on clay? Is that why you chose the name? So you could talk about me to your family without them knowing that a strange man is in your loft?"

"My parents are rabid scientists," Willow replies, unable to keep her dislike out of her voice. "And absolutely hate the idea that their only daughter chose not to get into science and is instead starting a promising career as an artist. If I tell them I working on something remotely scientific, it gets them off my back for a while. I'm a sculptor and experiment with different types of medium, and I run tests on them occasionally to make sure they will be able to do what want them to."

"I came up with the name Clay because that's what I was working with when I… found out about you." She seems to cut herself off abruptly "I'll be in the kitchen if you need me.

You step into the hall and hear her puttering in the kitchen. You follow the heavenly smell. "Smells good. Can I do anything to help?" Willow is sorting though some assorted vegatables and other foodstuffs on the kitchen counter. As you walk in she is leaning over to retrieve something from the cabinet. The view from this angle is quite pleasant.

"How are you at making salad?" She gestured to the pile of veggies.

"Everything needs to be washed. The large salad bowl is on the top shelf in the cupboard at the far end of the counter."

He smiles to himself, admiring the view. "You do good work."

Willow whips around and immediately looks over to where a blanket lies over a rather large lump on the table.

He ignores her reaction and looks at the vegges. Salad? He looks around for a knife, washes the veggies. Looks at them for a bit and then shrugs, doing what seems natural.

"So, I don't suppose any more of your memory came back while you were in the bathroom?"

His good mood evaporates and he pauses with the knife in the air. "No."

"Sorry. Sometimes memory comes back very quickly. Anyway, it'll come back when it needs to. What is the last thing, or rather the first thing you remember?"

"I would rather not talk about it right now." He could feel himself tensing, the scene trying to pop up in his mind. He surpresses it and then jumps in surprise when he relizes that he had gripped the knife, cutting himself. He stares at the blood for a few seconds, then runs it under cold water.

"Here, let me get a bandaid for that." Willow rummages around in a drawer and finds what she was looking for. She handed the sealed package to you. "There you go." You bandage the small cut quickly, thanking her.

Clay swirls the spaghetti around his plate, staring off into space. He didn't want to examine the images he had stored just yet. He simply waits for more to surface. His mind eventually starts going in circles, spinning ever tighter to this morning? and the dream he had. Dream or memory? Who were the people in the van? Friends? What had happened? What about the pimp? No, not friends. What were they looking for? What am I in? How had she known what I was thinking? And what of Willow? Here he looks at her, frowning. Why did she feel she had to be there?

"The back room has a bed, and there's aspirin in the cabinet. I usually work late and start early, so I'll try not to disturb you. Sleep as long as you want. We can work on what we're going to do next in the morning."

You find your way to the back room. By no means ritzy, but good enough, you think, laying down. Sleep comes on quickly. Your dreams are wild array of faces and voices, some beckoning, other threatening or pleading. There never seems to be names to the faces though, only vague emotional responces memories of fear, friendship or hate as mercurial as the images themselves. Only Willow's image has any permenance and the memories of her are vivid and potent,longing and lust and memories of hard animal couplings. The dreams are so intense they awaken you with a start. The bedsheets and your body are damp with sweat…

Dear God. He takes slow even breaths, sending his senses out into the night, slipping a hand under the pillow where he always keeps his gun. He freezes. I always keep a gun under my pillow? He knows that he is stalling. Slowly he pulls all his memories of Willow to the front of his mind. Starting with the first one he freezes it, looking it over intently. She's naked, flousent lights. Why ? Then the others. Slowly, trying to filter the emotion out of them. We've been together. Lovers. Why doesn't she remember? Are these actual memories or just fantasies?

Willow's voice in his mind: "I've never seen you before today. I'm not exactly someone a person tends to forget." About a woman. Something to do with getting to her. Sounds like you wanted to help or warn her about something. Warn…find… you had to find her… soon… something to do… Templates?

Warn her about what? More voices. "You fucked up bad, man, the old lady likes initiative and that kinda shit, but stealing Templates… He climbed to his feet and padded into the kitchen. Hunting around, he found a couple of knifes that could pass for throwing.

He then walked around the loft, pacing, listening. He pauses at her bedroom door everytime he passes it. His dreams always coming full to his mind. Then moves on, idly fliping one of the knives.

Pausing in front of Willow's door, you hear her speaking. Her voice, even though muffled by the door, sounds urgent and a bit frightened. "Who are you, who is he and what are you talking about?"

Burst through the door, throwing himself off to the side, rolling to his feet, knives at ready, ready to move again. Scanning the room. Danger.

You crash throgh the door just as Willow exclaims, "Why the hell should I? You show up in my bedroom completely uninvited, not to mention naked. I do not take kindly to having my home invaded by people, let alone some woman who speaks to me telepathically, whether physically or though some sort of projection. Get out of my house. Now!" She is sitting up in bed, her hand reflexively lifting to her face to shield it.

Spins, looking for the woman.

Looking around,you see no one in the room.

"Clay! What the hell do you think you're doing? Put the knife away." Willow moves to reach towards the nightstand to turn on the light but stps with a slight gasp. Her eyes widen, suddenly realizing the only thing covering her torso was her waist length hair. She clutches at a sheet and brought it up to just above her breasts. "Just what the hell is going on? First I have a vision about you and that I have to go somewhere. Then I see a room with the walls covered in blood. Then some naked bimbo appears in my room telling me to get away from you, that you're dangerous and you intend to harm me. Who are you? Why are you so important that the fates have chosen to fuck up my life?"

Walks over to Willow, still using all his senses. "Are you okay?" he asks softly. You notice she as a tattoo, smaller thanr yours, on her left arm. It is merely a psi, however.

"How do you think I feel?" Willow's demanded. "I can't get any of my work done because of… everything. Then you show up, throw someone or something out of a second story window, then without a by your leave get into my locked car–and I know the doors were locked–then pass out, mumbling things that don't make any sense. You have no memory of who you are or what's going on, then that woman appears in my bedroom in the middle of the night telling me the man I helped intends to do me harm and that you have some sinister purpose for me, then you burst into my room wielding a knife and the woman disappears. Does this sound like a normal day to you? I don't think so."

He sighs and sits on the edge of the bed. After assuring himself that she was unharmed, he lay down beside her, one arm behind his head. The other hand made small circles on his stomach with the blunt side of the knife. "I had a dream, well, several. So I was up pacing. I heard you. You sounded scared. Do you often have visions? Can you discribe this woman?"

"I would never hurt you, Willow. Are there any parts of you life that you don't remember, or seem odd? I can not get over the feeling that I know you." He pauses and looks up into her eyes.

"I have visions all the time. Well, not all the time, but often enough. Clay, would you mind putting that knife away? It's making me nervous. The woman that was in my room was small, very dainty in figure. She glowed kind of yellowish and her hair moved like a gentle wind was blowing, but there wasn't any here. She floated too, so I think she may have been a projection of some sort, especially when she disappeared when you came bursting in. The woman also spoke to me telepathically, and I think she may have been trying to convince me to do something against my will. I just had this feeling from the way she was talking. Too smooth, to calm for someone trying to give a warning."

"There are lots of times I don't remember. Whenever I have a vision, I lose complete track of time and what's going on around me. The time varies from a few minutes to hours. And my entire life has been odd. My parents work for a chemical and pharmaceutical company that has contracts with the government. They did everything they could to ensure that I'd follow in their footsteps. They had me tested a zillion times when I was little and when I was certified a genius with an IQ so high it's almost off the scale, they started to teach me their profession."

"By the time I was 10, I was synthesizing advanced formulas and could name almost every psychoactive or psychotropic drug there was on the market, describe its composition and its uses and side effects. If I ever did anything against the 'Plan,' I was punished." Willow shrugged. "I went to university and got a double major in chemistry and pharmacology by the time I was 16. Then I did the most daring thing in my life. I told my parents I didn't want to be a scientist, won a scholarship, and got a second degree art and art history."

"My parents are extremely disappointed with me, and take every opportunity to belittle my being an artist, and it gets worse with each favourable review I receive. The weekly family dinner is their whipping hour."

Willow puts the bat down and puts her hand to her head. "What is going on?" She sighs and looks at Clay. "I'm sorry. You keep seeing me at my worst. It's just been a really bad day. Hand me that shirt, will you? The one on the back of the chair."

Across the street, atop a an abanoned warehouse, Hanes lay. He watched the couple, image enhanced by a computerized scope. He scanned the crosshairs over their bodies. "Bang…" He grinned. Couldn't pop Ol' Jason without maybe capping the girl, and Karr wanted her warm. Still had to track down the Templates, too. But this surveillance shit bored him to tears. Zooming the image in, he looked over that chick, Willow. Nice body, needed some more meat on her though, little more up top too, but they were perky. Jason would like her though. That fuzzbuster loved chicks barely old enough for tits anyway. Hanes shrugged and settled in. Maybe he'd get it in gear and do something worth watching…

Clay smiles. "Am I making you nervous? No need, I've already seen you naked…" He shuts his mouth with a small mental curse. Hadn't ment to let that slip.

He sat up, retrieved the shirt for her and lay back down. "It was a memory, I think. You were naked, lying on mental slab, under fluorescent lights. Maybe it was you. I don't know, the tattoo wasn't the same. I dreamed about you, too."

The emotions surge through him as the words bring the dreams back to the fore of his mind. "But I don't know if they were memories or not." He sighs. "I think we are both in danger. Is there someplace else we can go? Someplace that doesn't have so many windows? More escape holes? Preferably at least one not readily visible?"

Willow's eyes widened at Clay's words, then she shook her head. "This is the only place I have that's my own." She tried to suppress a shudder at the image Clay brought to her mind. "I don't like the sound of your dream at all. What sort of feelings did you have during the dream? Good? Bad? What were they?"

"I think maybe you are the one I am to warn. I don't know about what. But I do have a picture of you." He laughed softly. "Wow. If the positions were reversed, I probably would have shot you by now."

"I am against killing. It's my parents' stock in trade." Willow's voice was cold, almost harsh. "If you intended to harm me, I would know, and you would become extremely intimate with this bat."

"As for your having met me before, I'm almost positive you haven't." Willow carefully puts the t-shirt over her head and pulls it down, revealing one last flash of skin, then pulled her hair out from under the garment. "I'd have remembered you if we had. Maybe you saw my picture in the newspaper or in a magazine, especially if you're into the arts. My work is becoming a favourite of some of the eclectic and surrealistic crowd, and I've been mentioned in several articles. You may have seen me around the university campus too."

Willow hesitates for a moment, then continues. "The visions I have, sometimes they come on when I'm working. That's when some of my best things are made, actually. I was sculpting when the first vision, the one of you, came on. Would you like to see it?"

"You did a sculpture of me? " he asks, delighted. "Yes, I would. Very much."

"Do you want to know everything I remember? Do you think you are strong enough?" he asked quietly in reply, averting his gaze a bit.

"I'm not as frail as I look. At least, not mentally. Come, take a look at the art I've done, the things that have never been shown to the public. Then you tell me if I'm strong enough." Willow took Clay by the hand and led him out of the bedroom and to the large area where she worked.

"Stand here," she instructed, and turned on the lights. Willow walked over to a large covered shape against one of the walls and pulled the cover off. Behind it was a large stack of paintings. leaning up against the wall. One by one she showed them to Clay, each scene more horrific than the last. Scenes of bloody warfare and murder. People hanging tortured from walls, their intense pain obvious. Clay could almost hear their screams of anguish.

Willow then walked over to another pile and pulled the cover off. Twisted figures tried to escape from the blocks of stone and piles of clay. Mutilated bodies hung in the air, falling, never quite reaching the ground where they might find the peace of death.

"I have been seeing these things since I was less than 15 years old. I've shown these to only a very few people, and they never understood why I painted them, and why I wasn't insane." Willow dropped the cloth on the floor and moved over to the workbench where she had sat earlier in the day. "Why aren't I? Because I work against what my parents do, and because those are not the only visions I see. I see these," she said, pulling the cover from the statue of a little girl playing happily with a doll.

"And this." Willow pulled the cover away from another piece of work and stepped back. She bit her lip, watching him carefully, to judge and gauge his reaction to seeing himself, so lifelike, reproduced so perfectly in clay.

He stands perfectly still. Then walks over, mutely he looks from the sculpture to her then back again.

"'There she stood in the doorway, I heard the mission bells. I was thinking to myself this could be heaven or this could be hell,'" he quotes softly.

"You want to know my feelings? My dreams?" he places the knife beside the bust and takes one of her hands. He places it on his chest over his heart and pulls the dreams to his mind's eye, letting himself react to the vividness.

"I can't bring them into real focus. Not like the one this morning." He takes her other hand and places it over his manhood. "This is what I feel, these are my dreams. You and me." He takes a steadying breath.

Willow held her breath for a moment, barely believing this is happening.

"I woke up in the back of a van, there were dead people there. One was lying on me. She looked bad." He brought the memory up, describing it for her in detail, down to the time on her watch; he shivered.

Willow wants to move away, but she can't bring herself to. She stands there transfixed, the only motion she can do is to bring her hand up and place it next to the one on his chest. She felt curiously detached, as if she were about to slip into one of her trances.

"I remember a little black girl, her mother said she brought me home because I was sick." Once again he brought the memories up, relating them detail for detail. "I felt something touch my mind. You. So gentle, so sensual. Your eyes will haunt me forever, I fear." He gently brushes her cheek.

"While I was unconscious for the ride over, I think I relieved the events before I awoke. They wanted something." Again he recited it thought for thought, action for action.

"Then when I was getting out of the car, the vision of you naked. A different tattoo, but you." He stands, still waiting for her reaction, curiously unconnected to the possibility of rejection, revulsion.

"What tattoo? Where?" Willow asked. She instinctively looked at her arm in the place where Clay had his tattoo and didn't seem to see it.

"You don't see it? Odd." He shakes his head and sighs. "Maybe I am seeing things." He describes it for her, outlining it on her arm as he does.

"Your mind is so full of pain. It burns like a raging fire, so much that it hurts when I touch it. I wish I could help you. Help you remember. If you did, we may have a chance against whoever it is that's after you, or possibly both of us." A look of helplessness crosses Willow's face. "I know I could help you, if you'd let me."

He puts his head down on her shoulder, and whispers, "I don't know how."

Willow puts her arms around and pulls him close, comforting him. "It's alright. We can work through this. Come, sit down over here with me." Willow releases Clay, takes his hand and leads him to the reclining couch. She motions for him to sit and she takes a seat opposite him, covering her lap with the blanket on the couch so she could sit cross-legged.

"Close your eyes. I'm going to touch your mind again with mine, and this time, let me in. Picture your mind like a house, with all the doors and windows barred and locked up tight. My mind touches your, like ringing the doorbell. You know it's me, and you open the door so I can come in. I will be the only one who will enter that house with you." Willow takes Clay's hand in hers.

He squeezes it, and whispers, "I'm afraid."

"There is no reason to be afraid, I won't hurt you. Let me do all the work. I will go from room to room in your house, looking for the answer to two questions. Who are you, and why would someone be after you or us. If you know, and it's normal amnesia, where trauma of some sort made you forget, then there's a good chance I can find the answer." She squeezed his hand lightly, her voice serious.

"But you can't fight me once I'm in there. If you do, you could do serious damage to both of us. You're going to have to trust me. It's the only way this is going to work."

He takes a deep breath. "What if I can't stop? What if that's how my mind reacts? I trust you. But what if my mind doesn't? And," he drew a deep breath, his grip becoming painful, "what if you do find the answers? What then? What if I don't want to know who I am? What if I don't want you to know? What if what you find is horrible?"

He is breathing hard now, as if he as run a long distance. "What if I can't bring down my shields? Or worse—what if they go up again after you are in? What happens then?"

"If you can't bring them down, then I can't help you, not this way. If they go up again," Willow feigns a nonchalant shrug then shuddered slightly.

He looks at her, forcing himself to calm down. "Why? Why are you willing to try? I am a stranger to you. I could be here to harm you. Why, Willow? You want to go into my mind. We haven't even joined our bodies yet, and you want to join our minds?"

"Why? Because I have to. Don't you understand? My parents make a living developing new and more evil ways of tormenting people's minds, and worse. They absolutely delight in their work. They could have been the ones who did this to you, took away your memory and god knows what else."

Willow springs up from the couch and begins to pace, hugging herself distraughtly.

"If you really wanted to hurt me, you would have by now. Or I would have sensed it. If you don't want me to help you, then fine. I can't force you. But we have to do something," Willow pleaded, the haunted air around her making her appear weak and vulnerable. "How can we deal with those people if we don't know what we're up against?"

He watches her, touched, and wanting to protect her. Anger at her parents flared through him. Her parents, betrayal? Why that feeling? No, something else. Suspicion. Names: William and Ann… He had to protect her from them. She was his own. He held out a hand, "You're right. I can't protect us with my memory like this. Do it."

Willow took his hand, something compelled her, a deep seated feeling. What was this? He kissed her gently. Before her stunned mind could muster protest, Clay guided her into his lap. "I find it unnerving to think of someone going through my mind." He pulls her closer, making her comfortable. "I will trust you, I give you permission." The feel of her body against his was familiar, even her smell was something he knew and knew well.

Willow's breath caught in her throat. A breathless excitement built in her and her hands moved over his chest unconsciously.

He closes his eyes, lays back on the chesterfield, pulling her on top. He relaxes, or tries to. Fixes a vision of a house, all locked up. A house. He tried to capture the image in his mind. But it wavered and shifted, a house yes, but a house aflame! Willow could sense his mind writhing in such torment, the proximity of their bodies bridging their minds to an extent. He was trying to open to her but could not. She would have to pass into the fire…

Can you feel me, Clay? The mental Willow put her hand out towards the flames, feeling the heat as a wide ribbon of mist followed her motion and reached out, caressing the edge of the fiery wall. How cool I am. Will you let me touch you? Willow began to walk forward, calmly, non-threateningly, keeping her hand out in front of her.

Will you help me part these flames so I may enter? Will you trust me with this? I have no weapons. I cannot harm you. Willow steps forward into the flames, sending calm, cooling, almost loving thoughts to Clay, reassuring him, encouraging him to let her in, let her do all the work, to let her be the one to explore. She stepped into the fire. There was some pain but she forced it back burying it by sheer will, leaving only a cool soothing mental touch.

Clay felt her inner touch, pure and light…soothing. A long dull ache seemed to fade for time.

She lay atop Jason, panting, her entire body soaked with sweat. Clay too was heaving. A stream of blood was running from his nose and his eyes were distant glazed. Slowly he smiled, a small releived smile, almost childlike.

Willow slid off of Jason and to the floor where she sat, huddled and dazed. "Dear god," she whispered. "Who are they? What have they done to us?"

God, no. The pain and the betrayal clawed away at her bleeding soul. They couldn't have. I'm their daughter. No, they wouldn't care. I'm just another pawn to them. Willow began to rock slightly back and forth, unaware of the tears sliding down her face. What have they done to me that I don't know about? The pain and betrayal began to turn into rage and abiding hatred. How dare they!

Willow stood and turned, eyes blazing in the direction of her parents' home. Her face was a mask of pure hatred as she sent out a powerful mental blast of pure thought. Do you hear me? Mother? Father? I know what you've done. You won't do it again. You are going to pay!

Willow's mental scream echoed across the city, ringing in the awareness of those even slightly sensitive to such things. Animals howled, children woke screaming and the dreams of adult were troubled in that brief instant. She felt her bolt strike home, brush the cold minds of her her "parents". They shuddered under her rage fuel assault. Always they were so hard to read… but no more. The barriers on her mind shattered. Years of suggestion and implanted thought were washed away. Willow… how? their minds echoed in the unison, startled, then slipping into cool analysis. There was emotion, the pride in a creation… not love for a daughter. Then the contact was broken, leaving Willow shuddering at the foot of the couch, weak and tired. Above her on the couch, Cla-Jason moaned lowly.

He swings his feet around, taking a deep breath, he waits for the pain to subside. He then surges to his feet and pickes her up. Willow was pale and trembling, her skin gone even more pale, and was clammy to the touch. Her eyes were distant as if focussed on something only she could see. She weighed little, feeling as frail as a bird in his arms. Ignoring any protests, he strides into the bathroom. Reaching in he turnes on the shower. Then he deposits her in it. Quickly doffing his pants, he climbes in beside her. Grabbing her shirt hem, he pulles it over her head. She yelped at the shock. Quickly he soapes her, washes her and then sees to himself. Turning the shower off just before it runs cold, he climbs out and grabs two towels.

Handing her one, he dries himself.

He then grabs her firmly by the shoulders. "Don't do that again." He emphasizes his point by shaking her.

With a low growl, he suddenly kissed her, hard, demanding. He slips his hands over her ass and gripping her lifted her up pulling her against him. His desire burned through him, but his mind kept intruding. Squeezing her ass, he reluctantly lowers her down his body.

"Go pack a few things. How much money do you have? How much gas?"

"I'm not sure how much cash. I have bank accounts I don't think my parents know about. I filled up the car this morning. I'm sorry if I hurt you." Willow wrapped a smaller towel around her head, catching up her hair. Her small pert breasts jostled as she did this, drawing your eyes to them. You want her so badly, the feel and smell of her linger on your senses, enticing and compelling you. "I was so angry at what they had done. Stupid move, eh?" A wry smile twisted her lips. "I guess they know now their experiment was not a failure." Willow left the bathroom and headed for her bedroom. Her ass is perfect, the thought pops into your head. Her, bent over, taking her roughly from behind. Blinking you shake the image from your mind. "Could you get me everything that's in the medecine cabinet please?"

You try to dress quickly, a task hampered by your erection which is still rampant. Where are you going to go… no one… no one could have missed that mental cry she made. What are whoever the fuck they are going to do now? Oh God… why can't you remeber more? Then you hear it. A footstep in the hall. Heavy and solid… definatly not Willow.