Every shower Delilah took was hotter than the last. She was enjoying showers so very much. Between the showers, and the new foods Perry kept making for her, she felt like life couldn’t get any better. For the first time since she left her mountain, she found a semblance of happiness. Sharing such delights with a man who killed as easily as she did, and without remorse. She started to feel like they belonged together forever. Delilah came out of the bathroom wrapped in a big white towel. The towels were so soft they reminded her of Soft, her cougar.
“Perry, ya makin’ somethin’ different tonight fo me?” Delilah walked to the kitchen counter and sat on the stool, watching Perry in the kitchenette.
“You mean you don’t want any more cereal?” He asked with a smirk. She lit up and giggled, tilting her head forward. Her wet hair tracing on the counter, leaving little droplets. Delilah had eaten all the cereal when they got home, one bowl after another, smiling all along in the delicious, sugary delight.
“No. Sides, ain’t no mo?” Delilah looked up, then whipped her hair back, sending a spray of water, some on Perry, but mostly behind her, slapping against her bare back and upper shoulders. She put her chin in her palm resting her elbow on the counter, all smiles, as water dripped down her back.
“While you were showering, I packed up. We should leave as soon as it gets dark.” Perry was still cooking something for them, “I did some shopping too, I got you some more treats to try out, and of course, dinner,” He said, lifting up a pot he was stirring with a wooden spoon, “Also, I got you some more clothes, now that I know what size you are, it was much easier. Melissa should approve.”
“You tink uh e’eryting, dat why I love you, my Perry.” She slid off the stool and walked around the counter letting her towel drop free to the ground and wrapped her arms around him from behind. He could feel her young naked body squeeze him from behind. Perry was startled at first, then relaxed. She loved him? She didn’t know what love was, did she? Perry struggled to remember what changed between them. The last girl they killed, they did together. They fucked that girl at the same time and slit her throat together, but he never laid a hand on Delilah, even though it was very intimate between the two of them. Maybe their relationship was taking a turn, or maybe he was like that rabbit she played with until he was dead. It was far better to feel what she thought love, than her anger, the magnified pleasure she rewarded him with was even better than the pleasure he got from killing. It was balanced with the pain she could inflict as well, reminding him of his place.
“I’m almost done, why don’t you get dressed and watch some tv.” he said lifting the pot from the burner, still stirring, “That bag on the bed has new clothes in it, if you want to try something new? I’m sure they’ll fit fine.” She never had any shame, always preferring to be naked. He had to argue with her to keep her clothes on.
“Whatcha makin’ dere?” She peeked around him at the pot on the stove.
“It’s called macaroni and cheese, and I’m gonna make some hot dogs with it.” Perry felt like a teenager again in his first apartment, with his first real girlfriend, kinda, “I want to leave around midnight or so. I want to be out of the state before sun-up. Maybe take a nap before we go?”
“Okay, Perry, what eva ya say.” Delilah giggled and let go of him, then walked to the television and knelt in front of it, “Come make it work fo me.” Perry chuckled and went to the television, turning it on slowly, so she could see how he did it.
“See, it’s not that hard.” She smiled up at him and wrapped her arms around her knees, pulling them up to her chest.
“Ya love me too, don’tcha Perry? Ya wanna keep me naky all day, huh?” Perry smiled and shook his head yes knowing she could read his mind, what could he really say? “I likes ta be like dis no how.”
“Anyhow.” Perry corrected her. He felt a twinge of anger that made his face flush. It came from her, but he felt it, the longer he was around her, the more he recognized her emotions infected him. It was like learning to speak without words. Delilah said nothing and turned her attention to the television. Perry went back to the kitchen opting to let that moment drift off without explanation or further discussion. He felt her anger dissipate quickly, relaxing him. It was the first time she didn’t punish him. He knew if she read his mind, she would be put at ease anyway, knowing his intentions toward her were only good. Did he love her? She was indeed the perfect companion for him. The hunting partner of a lifetime, and the pleasure she gave him was second to none. Would she ever allow him to make love to her as well? Would it ever be that type of relationship? Whatever it turned out to be, so long as he survived, it would be just fine.
“Perry?” Delilah asked.
“Yeah?” Perry took the boiling pot off the stove and poured the macaroni into a strainer in the sink.
“What town we at now?” She asked.
“We’re in Walton.” He walked to the edge of the kitchenette and looked at her, then saw the news was on.
“Where Paradise Fall at?” she asked watching the news.
“That’s not too far from where I found you, or where you found me, rather. Why do you ask?” He asked, coming closer to get a better view of what she was watching.
“Dem man’s dere, dem’s da swat mans?” Delilah pointed at the television. Perry sat down on the bed just behind where Delilah knelt on the floor watching television. The news was reporting about a quarantine around the town of Paradise Falls and showing shots of military vehicles coming and going from a staging area into the city. Perry was quiet and watched the newscast trying to understand what was going on.
“No, that’s worse.” He could feel fear coming from Delilah and put his hand on her shoulder, “Relax, ok? they don’t have any reason to come after us. They’re there because of a disease, uh… uh, sickness. It has nothing to do with you… or us.”
“But dat da town I kill Perry.” Delilah looked back at him, “Paradise.” Her hair covered most of her face from the angle she was looking at him from, and her mouth was completely blocked by her wet hair. Perry squinted his eyes thinking as he looked down at her child like innocence, cloaking an apex predator. Did she really do this? He watched the broadcast more intently, trying to get any bit of information about the death of Paradise. “You tink I zagerated, didn’t cha?” Delilah asked still looking at Perry while he concentrated on the tv.
“Yeah, I guess, maybe I did.” He said not wanting to look down at her. He felt the all too familiar tinge of fear. Perry unintentionally swallowed hard.
“Ya getting’ da scareds again? Uh me?” Delilah asked, “E’en though we love each udder, ya gots da scareds uh me?” Perry could feel her sadness start to chase away his fear, “I said I ain’t gonna hurt ya none, Perry. I thought we special now?”
“I’m sorry. You are very powerful, and it’s scary sometimes, when I get reminded of how powerful you can be. You could kill me just by getting mad at me Delilah, and all I can do is die. It does scare me that you might lose control and kill me.” Delilah sniffled. Her sadness came on in strong waves bringing tears to his eyes. He could feel how sad it made her to hear him say she scared him.
“But I try real hard not ta kill ya, or e’en read ya no mo.” She was on the verge of crying.
“I know. And you’re doing a great job too. Hey,” He shook her shoulder, “Let’s forget all this nonsense and go eat, I promise it’ll make us both feel better.”
“Ok.” She wiped her eyes and they stood up together, “I don’t wantcha be a scaredy uh me no more, Perry.” Delilah said as they walked hand in hand to the kitchenette.
“I promise. If I ever start to get scared, I’ll just remind myself how much we love each other now.” Delilah smiled wide at that, “Oh, Delilah,” he caressed her cheek, “I do believe I’ve waited my whole life for you.” He leaned down to kiss her.
“This is Robbie Sinclair with KIDM channel 7 news, with a special report. Only hours ago, an unnamed insider involved in the hunt for the Michelangelo serial killings, revealed special facts in the case, linking him to the quarantine at Paradise Falls, now under siege by the military. He appears to have died in an attack just outside of Paradise Falls, beyond the infected zone. Police and authorities believe Perry Tucker, the Michelangelo killer, died as a result of coming in contact with this unknown woman,” Delilah turned her head to the tv before their lips touched. She walked out of the kitchenette with the pot in her hand, still stirring the macaroni and cheese as she had been all along with the wooden spoon and watched the broadcast. Her face appeared on the screen, dirty and almost unrecognizable, even to her, “Also found at the scene were State Trooper Aaron Hutchins and a woman who appeared to be the latest victim of the Michelangelo killer, Lisa McFadden, all dead of unknown causes possibly related to the infected young woman, once again-”
“You a liar,” Delilah looked back at the kitchenette to where Perry was, “Ya hear him, Perry?” Perry wasn’t in the kitchenette, “Perry?” Delilah’s mind started to swim and her eyes blurred in. She stumbled to the counter dropping the pot Perry was cooking in, she was cooking in? Catching herself from falling at the very last second, “Momma?” She called out in fear and grabbed her head with both hands, making her way to the bottom of the bed then falling to her knees, “Perry!” She screamed for him with all her might, still clutching her head. The man on the television continued to talk, “You a liar!” she yelled at him and wanted him dead and quiet, with every fiber of her being, she screamed, “You a liar!” the man started to convulse on the television screen and power to the television started to pulse, as did all the power in the room, the town, the county, the state. She reached into his mind, the little man on the television screen, squeezing harder than she had ever squeezed anyone or anything, killing him. Delilah leaned over until her head hit her thighs, still clutching her head in both hands. Her cold, wet hair stuck to the top of her naked thighs. She slowly rocked up and down, turning her head from side to side, crying. “Perry!” Delilah searched her mind for help. There was no one. Melissa was gone, momma was gone… Perry… was gone. Sudden realization hit Delilah like a slap in the face. Perry was gone, never even there. She was so alone, she was Hummingbird, not Delilah. She suddenly so cold, it was as if she was crawling out of that freezing river water again, laying on its banks, shivering so hard, her teeth almost cracked. That cold crept into her bones, threatening to never let her feel warmth again. A buzzing began in her ears that turned to a constant hum. The hum popped, letting every mind into her own mind. First, the residents in the other rooms, the manager and his wife. Then, the surrounding businesses and more. Every life lit up in her mind, every thought, every emotion. Miles and miles around her, she soaked it all in. None of them were Perry. Anger overwhelmed her with a burning, that made her want to twist and roll in every life she felt, just as she twisted and rolled in the body of every Lisa, covered in blood. She wanted their blood all over her body. Every life, hers to rip apart and cover herself with, as she and Perry did… as she did alone? Thoughts and emotions again flooded her, the range seemed to extend beyond measure and she felt her head to explode. Delilah screamed and grabbed her head trying to make them stop. The noise was too much. Delilah lashed out at them all. She found herself laying on the banks of the river again, cold, shivering, gasping for air, like a fish. Her body locked up in a spasm so hard every muscle in her body contracted. Breathe… The little girl in the blue dress joined her on the banks of the river and sat down beside her, whispering to her and combing her hair with her fingers. Breathe Hummingbird… Her vision went black and then there was nothing.