Raysia had tossed and turned most the afternoon. He'd tried to run her back and speak her softly, letting her know she wasn't alone but no sooner did the nightmares seem to end before they crept back in. He tried not to imagine what they were, his temper flaring with each thought that crossed him. The longer he watched her, the greater his hatred for Travis Bailor became. He wanted to watch the life drain from that man's eyes. To be the last thing he saw before meeting his maker. Raysia bolted upright crying out, "Stop!"
Mark instantly yanked his hands away from her body and held them, palms up by his chest in a show of surrender. She looked around the room before her eyes fell on him. Raysia burst into and ball of tears and and dove in too of him. He wrapped his arms around her and let her cry. Feeling helpless and ignorant. He wanted to make everything ok for her again. Wanted to give her back her life, her freedom, and her confidence. He didn't want her to ever feel like she had to look over her shoulder or be afraid. He hated that he couldn't erase Travis from her mind.
She'd felt it, every second of it. She was face down on a bed with her hands pinned above her. Her legs clamped together from the weight of his. The pain was emense, starting at her ass and shattering through her. His body lumed over her, enveloping hers, he seemed so much bigger than her this time. But she could smell him. She knew who her torturer was. Travis.
Then everything shifted and he was forcing himself down her throat. She felt like she couldn't breathe, suffocating between his thrusts and puke that kept escaping when he pulled out just enough to ram it back down her throat. She thought it would never end. She could even taste the sour salty liquid he dumped down her throat asn he released himself inside her. He pulled away and told her she would learn soon enough, but for someone reason he called her Natalie. Then the sound of a door closing and locking had released her. Raysia had sat up, ready to run, before looking around and realising she'd been dreaming. Out of the corner of her eye she could see a pair of jeans clad legs stretched out next to her, their ankles crossed. Fear welling in her throat, she slowly turned to see it was Mark. Her guard falling at the sight of his face.
She wanted his arms around her. To breathe in his scent, that comforting mixture of dirt and pine. Praying for it to wash away the memory of Travis. Unable to control the screams ripping through her, as her whole body convulsed and began to hyperventilate. Marks arms held her close, they were strong but gentle. Making her feel safe with out crushing her. Raysia tried to focus on her breathing. Slowly talking herself through the exercises Adina had drilled into her. Finding a place in her mind to anchor herself. But all she could do was cling Mark. Her head pressed to his chest she listened to his breathing instead. Mimicking him.
He stroked her hair, and kissed the top of her head.
"I'll listening if you want to talk about it, but you don't have to.", His words were soft, barely a whisper. Her arms worked their way behind him, her hands clutching around his shoulders. She'd felt so weak and so small. But didn't answer him. Her mind was still processing the dreams. Going through each detail. Natalie! It wasn't a dream, it was another girl. Travis had another girl. She was so small. So young. There had been so much pain. Raysia jumped off the bed and ran for the open door to the bathroom. Her insides repulsed by her realization.
Wave after wave sent Raysias body into uncontrollable heaves. Mark had pulled her hair away the best he could but it had already been satured on one side in vomit. When it finally seemed like she could regain control, she sat back on her heels. Taking the tissue Mark offered to wipe her mouth. He left her side only for a moment to turn the shower on before returning and coaxing her stand up. She let him lift her shirt up over her head, but when he reached for the strings at her pants she tensed up again. Feeling her anxiety he stopped. "I just want to help you into the shower. I promise I won't do anything else." He said, as softly as he could, like he was trying to talk a wild animal off a ledge. Raysia nodded, letting him continue. He even turned his head away so that he wasn't looking directly at her body and left her underwear in place. Before standing back back and read hung inside the shower stall to check the water.
Holding her hand to steady her, he helped her into the shower. But Raysia didn't let go. He looked her the face, his eyes searching hers before he shrugged and stepped in, soaking his t-shirt and jeans. She just didn't have the strength to stand on her own and leaned against him as he adjusted the three separate shower heads so that the water could surround her.
Mark stood there, using a shower poof to wash her back and shoulders, making sure not to pass the dip of her lower back. Raysia lifted her head from his chest and to look up at him. He was so much taller, so much bigger than her, and yet there was nothing about him that intimidated her.
Mark - "Yes sweetheart?"
Raysia- "I need to show you something. I can't say it out loud, I'm not sure I would even know how."
Mark - " Take your time, I told you, we do this at your pace. I'm not going anywhere."
She smiled up at him and he felt her arms release him. It took a second before he realised she had her hands up in front of her, crossed at the wrist.
"Ray, are you sure?" , A desperation knawing at him, as she nodded. He held his hands up opposite of hers, allowing her to close the space between them. As her palms gently found their way perfectly against his, she felt the world around her shift, it was as if everything just fell away. Raysia felt her whole life flood through her to him. Every joy, every sadness. Every memory. Just as she saw his life in her minds eye. Her Grammie had told her that the vrak bond held a power all of it own, but she hadn't expected this.