I’d been in the shower about 10 minutes when my phone rang. I could hear it vibrating and chiming from my bedside table.
I decided to ignore it and continue basking in the warmth. Almost as soon as it stops ringing it starts again. When that happens a third time I’m concerned and jump from the shower, wrapping a towel around me as I dash to my room.
“Ava! Julians… Out.”
My blood runs cold. I swear I feel it freeze in my veins. Instantly I put my phone on speaker and run to the dresser and start pulling out clothes.
“What do you mean by ‘out’?” I snap. I already suspect I know exactly what she means and exactly how bad it is. My heart is beating hard.
“He’s not in his cell. We’re on lockdown, scouring the facility, but…”
I’m pulling on jeans, “but you think he’s escaped.” I finish.
“Yes.” Casey replies, then her voice drops to a whisper, “what do we do?”
I ignore her question, grab a small backpack and chuck a few pieces of clothing into it. “When was the last time cell inspection was performed?”
I sweep my arm over the top of the dresser, sending face creams, deodorant and perfume cascading over the side into the open bag.
“Half an hour.”
On the secure wing we vary the patrol times. The small number of men housed there would only learn to exploit the pattern if we stuck to a schedule. We house some of the most devious, manipulative and dangerous men in the Country, one of the ways that we ensure they didn’t attempt to devise plans through pattern recognition was to disempower them through giving them little indications of schedules.
We never allow guards to work for long stretches in the High Threat wing of the secure unit, we can’t allow our wards to get to know habits of the guards or try to befriend them in any way.
“Jesus Christ.” I dash back to the bathroom, grabbing my toothbrush and toothpaste and shove that on top, zip up my bag, grab my phone and run to the door. Thirty minutes is enough time to make good progress towards where I live depending on the mode of transport he’s been able to get.
I pull on my running shoes, grab my purse and keys from the kitchen bench.
“Have you followed protocol?”
“Yes. Police car should be pulling up to yours at any moment. Officer Campbell.”
I’m relieved. I half-expected there to be a complete failure of procedure. One of our high threat inmates escaping is worst case scenario for us. We have a procedure in place that must be followed step by step. One step involves deploying police protection for anyone who has worked closely with the escapee, a procedure that came into affect after Dr Catherine Swann was murdered by one of her patients.
Unlike the guards and cleaners who are rotated frequently, as a Psychiatrist I’ve been working with him since he was imprisoned seven months ago in our facility. When I noted his fixation on me, I attempted to remove myself from his case, but my request for replacement was declined – I knew I was in over my head when even his legal counsel got involved.
Of course, I’ve never given him any details about me, or answered any of his questions, but the very fact he escaped suggests keeping my information close to my chest wont have been enough anyway.
I’ve left all the lights off, I have a few motion-activated lights mounted at key points outside the house. If anything moves out there, it should be immediately obvious. I peer out at the darkness beyond. The street is quiet, the only movement is the light swaying of treetops in the breeze.
I head outside anyway, lock the door behind me and set the alarm.
I stand still a moment and survey the street and front yard, watching for any movement. I duck and check underneath the car, then walk around it looking in the windows to make sure it’s empty. Once by the drivers door I unset the car alarm, quickly get in and set the alarm.
It seems paranoid, and I guess it is, but Julian is a brilliant and resourceful man. The fact he is greatly lacking in empathy and has issues with impulse control is what makes those first two qualities particularly dangerous.
“I’m freaked the fuck out.” Casey breaks my thoughts.
I’m watching the street behind me in the rear view mirror. “Are you in the office, with a guard?”
“Is he armed?”
“Good, stay there. Don’t leave and don’t let him leave you for any reason.”
“You think he might be still be here?” She sounds horrified.
“Unlikely… But it’s a possibility.”
I see lights bouncing along the tree line, a car is approaching. A police car slows then turns into the driveway behind me.
“A police car just arrived.” I keep my eyes on the rear vision mirror, I see only one person in the car. The officer exits, putting his hat into place as he does so. He’s too short, it’s not Julian.
I breathe a sigh of relief. “I have to go, but I’ll call you back soon.”
I hang up and watch the officer approach my house, after he passes the car I flash my lights and he stops and turns. I quickly survey him, his uniform is complete and it fits well, good signs.
He approaches the car and holds his badge out, “Ava Bainbridge?”
I look down at his shoes, police issue and in good, clean, but worn condition. All good signs that he is a legitimate Police Officer. He walks normally, comfortable, confident. Like someone very used to the hip holster. I can’t help looking for all these details, another very famous case sticks in my brain, Dr Oliver Marks declared a patient as fit to stand trial, but unable to know right from wrong during his murders, and thus a verdict of ‘not guilty by way of insanity’ was reached.
During his transfer he snapped an Officers neck and took his uniform to get to Dr Marks. He incapacitated him with a paperweight, then gouged out his eyes whilst still alive.
“Officer Michael Campbell, 69854219, I’ve been instructed to take you to the Station.”
I’m sure Officer Campbell thinks I’m paranoid. I asked him to open the trunk of his cruiser to ensure it was empty before I’d get into the car.
I sit in the back, clutching my bag on my lap. I just want to get to the Police Station, I wont feel comfortable until I’m surrounded by people.
He pulls out of the driveway and we head down the road, back the way he came.
The car is cold, so I dig in my backpack for a sweater.
The car slows at the junction with the next street, “Hold on.” He says. I look up and he’s opening his door to get out of the car.
“No!” I shout, but he’s already out of the vehicle.
I look wildly, left to right. Nothing.
He’s walking to the front of the car, and bends down almost disappearing out of sight.
I kneel on the seat, craning my neck to see. He’s looking at a homeless man laying in street.
He’s shaking him, but the guy is not responding.
Just as he reaches for his radio, I see a blur of movement.
A figure all in black yanks Officer Campbell to his feet, and quickly wrestles his gun from the holster.
“NO-“ both of us shout simultaneously, but our screams are cut off by the terrible sound of a gunshot.
The officer slumps to the ground.
I grab at the door handles, but the rear car doors wont open from the inside, I grab onto the metal divider between the front and rear seats and give it a shake, but it’s solid.
It isn’t going anywhere. Panic rises, like bile up my throat.
Suddenly the drivers door is wrenched open.
A gloved hand curls to a fist and smashes back against the divider, making an awful sound that makes me recoil.
The door slams and the car starts, revving loudly and carelessly. There are two loud, sickening thuds as the vehicle runs over the officer.
I look up and see those unsettling unequal pupils giving me a familiar look in the rear view mirror. “Hello Ava.” He drawls.
We see what we expect to see and feel what we expect to feel. And if we expect to be afraid then we will be afraid. But that’s a fool’s game. If you live your life in anticipation of doom and the certainty of it; if you know it’ll find you and overwhelm you, why fight it?
“Mr Priest will see you now.” One of his office assistant stands at the doorway, dressed in the tightest pencil skirt I’ve ever seen and stilt-like stilettos, teetering like a crane.
“This way.” She gestures down the hallway and I follow her, my resume and portfolio gripped tight in nervous tension. I need this job so badly.
The heavy click of her heels on the wooden floorboards sound like the drums to a death march.
She stops just outside the studio door and knocks. Even though there is no reply she opens it and ushers me in. As soon as I cross the threshold she closes the door behind me, I don’t hear her retreat.
There are cluttered benches along the far wall, painters drapes haphazardly strewn over the floor in front, white mannequins stand in a silent solemn bunch to the left, canvases propped against walls and on large easels dot the floor space. A large antique writers desk stands in the middle, no chair beside. It’s chaotic and unnerving, and I wonder if that’s deliberate.
Heavy footfalls come from the side room, and I turn to see him emerging from the darkness. His long hair falls around his face, adding to the framing of the two-day old stubble along his jaw. His eyes are piercing, and he holds me in place with a stare that isn’t so much hostile, as predatory.
“Mr Priest.” I begin, a smile moving over my face. It feels wrong, this environment is dark and there is an element of danger in his work that makes my amiable demeanor and professional dress seem foreign and forced. I hold out my right hand to shake his, but he keeps it firmly in his pocket.
“Sit.” He gestures.
I look around once more, again noticing the absence of chairs.
When I turn back he’s gesturing at the desk. Hesitantly I pull myself up to sit on the edge of it, my feet now unable to touch the floor. Goodbye professionalism.
He stalks closer, and I notice his shirt is spotted with paint-flecks. Crimson, against the off white dress shirt he wears, three buttons open at the top. My eyes take the briefest of glimpses at the skin on display before darting away to look elsewhere.
He takes my portfolio and resume from my hands, practically snatches them from me. He drops the portfolio to the ground as if it’s not even worth opening and skims over the resume instead.
“Sabine Lacavalier.” He reads, eyeing me. “French, no?”
“In name only.” I reply.
“Graduate with Honors from the Royal College of Art.” He continues, “how prestigious.” He mutters as if it was anything but, and he’s walking around the desk I’m seated on, like a shark, circling its prey.
“Scholarships and Awards for your work, internships with art houses and some piece of shit British painter that no one actually cares for… You’re ever so qualified, aren’t you?” He stops and stands before me and I meet his gaze with no expression on my face.
I had known Julien Priest was eccentric, a rogue in the modern art scene, a prodigious talent with a bad attitude, a dangerous disregard for rules, disreputable in almost every way. But he was also the name on everyones lips, everyone wanted to see what his next work would be, what he would exhibit. People were falling all over themselves to pay hundreds of thousands for some of his pieces. He’d get invited to prestigious art events, accepting awards and making speeches where he not only questioned the validity of the award, but the artwork itself, while also subtly insulting everyone in the room with backhanded compliments.
Most people in my class had an artistic hard-on for Priests work, and my roommate had been determined to get her hands on the man himself.
I personally loathed him, and thought his work was trite and mediocre, a case of the Emperors new clothes as far as I could tell. But I wanted his name on my resume, because I knew it was valuable currency.
I knew he’d be preparing for his next big exhibition at this time and would be on the prowl for art school graduates to use as lackeys, which is why I had done an mini-thesis on his work – knowing it might get me a recommendation to interview from Professor Jones.
Julian smiles then. It wasn’t warm. A toothy smirk, a knowing grin. “You’re not going to defend yourself?” He lifts a brow.
“I don’t need to. While those accolades speak for themselves as to my technical ability, and Professor Jones recommendation speaks of my ability to work for an Artist, a one week trial will show you everything you need to know.” I answer with a coolness I certainly don’t feel. He has me nervous.
He laughs and continues pacing a circle around me.
“Tell me, is Prof Jones fucking any of his students this year?” He stops once in my field of vision. “You, perhaps?”
“No idea. As far as I can tell there isn’t a shortage of keen candidates though.” I reply. Not me. I mean, ok, I’d fuck him in my mind, but probably not for real. Probably. That part I don’t say.
Julian laughs, “the cycle continues…” He sounds amused.
I watch him, waiting for more.
“Jonesy and I were classmates, way back when. We got the same internship out of College. Kent Bran. Total bastard. Talentless twat.” He sniffs.
Bran was an icon in his day. Interestingly, under Professor Jones, we’d never studied his work.
“He took a liking to Jones, who was much more accommodating than I was, and so he sailed from internship to internship, while I got the boot.”
Is he… saying what I think he’s saying?
Julian smiles, like he read my thoughts. “Yes… Your dear Professor sucked dick to get a place in the industry.” He laughs, inspecting the nails of one hand a moment then continued pacing.
“So, tell me… Why are you here?” He pauses, “think I’m the greatest modern British Artist since the last guy? Hoping to work with me the way Jones worked with Bran, perhaps?” He raises an eyebrow lasciviously at me.
“I need a placement, a placement that pays. I want to work with someone who is in demand, someone I can learn from. Someone who challenges the status quo.” I reply.
He advances on me viciously then, “You think you’re too good to be here!”
I flinch. Hating giving him a reaction that he takes pleasure from.
“I’m a graduate, Mr Priest. To you, my degree means nothing, and many others feel the same. To the industry it means nothing, as much as they require me to have one. To the industry, I am nothing. While, you… are everything.”
He smiles wolfishly. “Good girl.”
He continues pacing once more, one hand still in his pocket, an oddly casual mannerism against his sinister gaze.
“I have been given a large space at the Tate, in three months time, for my latest exhibition. And I’ve been painting, non-stop, for days, trying to capture the essence of what I want to portray.” He passes in front of me once more.
“Nothing has captured my hand, only fleeting thoughts and ideas that just haven’t given me anything to really grasp onto. But, now… Now, I think I’ve found it.” He stops infront of me once more, and tilts his head.
“Yessss.” He hisses.
“I’ve found my latest subject.” He steps closer, until his legs are pressed against mine.
I watch him, dread pooling in my stomach.
“You.” He purrs, one hand touches my thigh with an unexpected gentleness.
He removes his right hand from his pocket and places that on my other thigh, and then I notice the glint of silver.
He has a handcuff around his wrist.
I look up at him, his face is uncomfortably close to mine. “Yes… my little top of the class graduate… Professor Jones’ little class pet…” He purrs.
With a mirthless laugh he whips his hand to the side and seals the other cuff around one of my wrists.
It clicks several times as he squeezes it tight.
“What are you doing?” I hate the sound of panic coloring my voice.
“You… my little puppet, shall be my next masterpiece.” He yanks on the handcuff and it pulls me to my feet.
His face is still too close for comfort, his grin is menacing.
“Picture it…” He whispers, and turns me to look across at a blank wall. He holds his uncuffed hand out at it, as if he’s pointing out something that is already there.
“The destruction of Little Miss Perfect.” He hums and waves his hand around the space.
“Wait…” I protest, standing my ground as he tries to pull me toward the room he’d emerged from.
“There is too much work to do to just wait… my little minx.” He brushes my face with the tips of his fingers.
“This way!” He pulls hard, dragging me across the room.
“Stop! Wait…“ I’m shouting now, face turned towards the door I’d entered, hoping for his Assistant to come back.
He stops in his tracks and looks at me, square in the face.
He studies me, with a sigh, then gives me a gentle smile.
Trigger Warnings: Dom/Sub, Humiliation, Knife Play, Restraints, BDSM, Totally Not Safe Or Sane (but definitely consensual) Use of the word “Daddy”, Oral Sex/Blow Job, Degradation, Face Slapping, Naughty Language/Dirty Talk.
Fandom: Julian Priest (The Hunger, 90s TV series)
Julian acquires a woman to play with for a night via some sort of Kinky Auction.
Author’s Note: A lot more story is implied here, but as of now, I assure you it’s intended as a oneshot as I may have no actual stamina to continue and probably won’t continue. Pretty much just wrote this to see how people would react to something like this.
Julian Priest expresses the need the want to do multiple things. He craves verity, and wants to have his cake and eat it too. He tries many different experimental ideas in his art rather than stick to a single project. Always bouncing from one idea to another, finding his inspiration from the world around him, Julian is an ideas man. He is attracted to abstractions and concepts more than he is in touch with the physical world.
Auxiliary Function: Introverted Thinking
Analyzing everything from multiple angles, Priest values understanding above control. He wants to have a complete mental model and picture of a situation, so he explores every aspect in detail, analyzes them, and creates structured rules. He explains these rules carefully to the audience, in well-thought-out, articulate ideas. He structures all of his ideas completely before expressing them, either verbally or through his art.
Tertiary Function: Extroverted Feeling
Julian Priest is an astute observer of the people around him. He is keenly aware of the reactions other have to his work, to each other, and to morbid topics in general. He is very interested in the emotional expressions of others, and how they express their inner emotions outwardly. Additionally, as an artist, Julian Priest is expressive in his feelings wanting to share his morbid fascination with an audience. It is not enough to hold onto his sentiments, he must show and explain them to others. This is not his dominate function, so he still puts ideas and action above harmonious social relationships.
Inferior Function: Introverted Sensing
Julian Priest has a strong tendency towards extroverted intuition, and therefore does not have a whole lot of connection to storing data and facts. This is his least developed function, but manifests as the pool of thoughts and facts he has accumulated, and can express at a moment’s notice. Although he prefers universality and abstract ideas, Julian trusts his memory and experience when dealing with new problems.
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
Julian Priest is definitely a Ravenclaw. He artistically explores morbid ideas out of nothing more than curiosity and a sense of experimentalism. He is eccentric and beats off of the normal path with the intention of challenging the status quo. He searches for universal truths, new perspectives, and is motivated by wanting to make sense of the world.
Time passes, things change. But we’re still suck inside of our bodies, still ourselves. Now and forever.
You may want to get out, but there is no way out. Even when we die we die as ourselves.
And for some people this is the true nightmare. They can’t stand themselves.
They need to change.
But you can’t change.