Frederick took a deep breath as the armoured van rolled up. This would be the first new inmate since his return to the hospital, and Frederick felt like a bundle of raw nerves. He didn't let his emotions slip through his well-worn mask of indifference and superiority, however, and only a slight tremor in his hands betrayed his anxiety. He gripped the handle of his cane tightly, and let air out slowly through his nose. Nodding at the guard to open the door, he steeled himself to meet the new inmate.
The metallic clang of the door echoed in the still air as Frederick's new patient stepped out. He was flanked by two guards, and there were another two behind him bringing up the rear. Transportation security had increased greatly ever since Gideon's escape. The patient stepped out gracefully, despite the shackles restraining his movement, and managed to bring with him an air of composure that was often absent from most of the prisoners Frederick dealt with. The man's eyes found Frederick almost immediately, and he looked over him slowly, making the back of Frederick's neck prickle unpleasantly. When he looked up again he gave a big smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Familiar with this intimidation tactic, Frederick gazed back with as a detached air he could muster. He would've been lying if he said was unaffected by the man before him, but Frederick was a practiced liar, and managed to lie to himself as easily as he lied to others.
"Jonas Nightingale," he said, thankful that his voice remained steady despite his nerves, "Welcome to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. I am Dr. Chilton, and I am the head of this hospital. I will be your psychiatrist during your stay here."
"I've heard a lot about you," Jonas smirked, "Your reputation precedes you."
His eyes searched Frederick's face, lingering on the scar on his cheek. Frederick clenched his jaw- he didn't like the predatory way Jonas was looking at him. He gestured at the guards and they began walking.
"I think you'll find reputation isn't as credible as it is made out to be," he replied as they made their way inside, "After all, rumours are hardly a solid foundation to build one's ideas upon, don't you think?"
"Who said anything about rumours?"
"I can only imagine what you may've heard about me, Mr. Nightingale, but I can with almost certainty tell you that most of it is falsehood, perpetuated by the media for sake of entertainment and grossly simplified to appeal to the uneducated masses," Frederick said, annoyed at the topic of conversation.
"Most of it? Then some of what is written about you is true."
"The best lies are the ones held together with strings of truth, Mr. Nightingale," he cleared his throat, "Anyway, we will have plenty of time to chat later on. Allow me to fill you in on the procedures and facilities of the hospital."
Frederick talked as they walked, and found that his anxiety eased as he settled into the routine of explaining the hospital rules and regulations. Jonas remained pleasantly silent, though he kept staring at Frederick, which, although unnerving, was easily ignored. It wasn't long before they reached the cells.
"This is us," Frederick announced, stopping in front of the bars that closed the hall, "I will have the guards escort you the rest of the way to your room, but I have to return to my office. I'll see you tomorrow morning for our first session," he said as he turned to leave.
"Goodbye doctor," Jonas called out as the guards moved him into the hall. Frederick walked on, his cane clacking rhythmically on the floor, and Jonas' voice ringing in his ears.
The next morning, Frederick reviewed his notes on Jonas Nightingale. The man was interesting, to say the least. Delusions of grandeur paired with remarkable narcissism and intelligence- Jonas was a textbook definition of a psychopath. His crimes, however, were more creative than what Frederick usually dealt with. Bare feet dangling off the edge of a bed, empty eye sockets gazing heavenward, the blood encrusted sheets surrounding the body like a lake. It was horrifying, but the sheer brutality of the murders coupled with the care with which the bodies were placed displayed a duality that Frederick found endlessly fascinating. He sat with the report in hand, eyes glued to a photograph of the latest crime scene, and did his best to push images of Abel Gideon strapped to a bed in his basement out of his mind. He could still hear the beeping of the machine that kept Gideon tortuously alive. Frederick put the report down when he realised that his hands were shaking. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath in through his nose, letting it out through his mouth, and allowed the memories to slip from his mind.
The ticking of the clock was loud in the silence of his office, and Frederick opened his eyes to glance at his watch. The appointment was in five minutes. Plenty of time to compose himself. Scowling, Frederick shook his head and leaned back, trying to relax. After a few moments of deep breathing and a blissfully clear mind, he straightened and reached for the phone.
"Bring him up," he said, then leaned back in his seat and fiddled with his cane.
When Jonas walked in, flanked by two guards, Frederick was the picture of calm and control.
"Jonas," Frederick started, "Good morning. Please have a seat."
The guards guided Jonas to the chair, where a newly installed hoop was cemented into the floor. Jonas sat still as the guards ran the chains binding him through the hoop. Security had gotten much tighter due to the events of the past months- Frederick was thankful for that.
"Good morning doctor," Jonas replied as the guards left.
"How are you feeling today?"
Frederick sighed; he'd known that Jonas would be a tough nut to crack from his first glance at his report.
"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, Jonas," Frederick said airily, and Jonas raised a brow in response.
"How did you sleep?"
"As well as expected."
"You'll get used to it here. The first night is always the hardest."
Jonas didn't reply, so Frederick cleared his throat and continued.
"I'd like to talk about your first victim. What was her name-" Frederick pretended to shuffle through his notes, "Anne Mayfair. She was an alcoholic."
"She asked me to cure her."
"What do you think?"
"I think you killed her."
"I freed her. She couldn't see the Light without my help."
Frederick scribbled in his notebook.
"So, you see yourself as a shepherd? Leading the lost flock to salvation?"
Jonas' face darkened.
"Don't patronise me," Jonas scowled.
"I assure you that that is not my intent," Frederick leaned forward, "Tell me about what happened that night. Lead me through it."
"In order to help you, I need to understand you Jonas. I need your point of view."
Jonas was quiet for a moment, and Frederick fiddled with his pen. When Jonas began to speak, Frederick breathed a quiet sigh of relief. Therapy was difficult when the patient refused to talk. Frederick found that he could learn a lot about a new patient by listening to them recount their first offence. The look on their face, their tone, every detail told him something new. Jonas was hesitant at first, but Frederick made sure to indicate he was listening, and soon the other man became more animated. He talked with almost reverence about how he picked out his victims, how he would get them back to his motel, how he would slit their throats. It was strange easy it was to listen to Jonas talk; Frederick almost forgot he was listening to a killer.
"How did that make you feel?"
"Really doctor? That's the oldest line in the book. I thought it was only used on tv."
"Well, it is in the book for a reason, Jonas," Frederick replied, "I don't discredit reliable techniques because of their age."
"I bet you're a fan of shock therapy too."
"It has its uses," Frederick said, completely serious.
"Remind me not to get on your bad side," Jonas winked and Frederick's mouth twitched in a hint of a smile.
"Alright Jonas, I think that's enough for today. We will meet again for our next session in a couple of days," Frederick said, lifting the phone to call the guards back in. He nodded his farewell to Jonas and settled down to organise his notes. Jonas had managed to evade answering his more serious questions, but Frederick was satisfied with their meeting overall. It was of course, not the answers themselves that mattered, but the way they were answered. Honestly, Frederick was expecting far less to work with, so this first session had exceeded his expectations, and he set to work with a small smile on his face.
The next night, Frederick was reclining on the sofa in his office, working on his computer. With half a mind on the live surveillance feed that streamed in the background, he slowly worked through his reports, pausing every once in a while to check up on his prisoners. He was halfway through his final report when a peculiar sound caught his attention. He frowned and switched over from his report to the surveillance feed, scanning over the video for each occupied cell. When he flipped over to Jonas' cell, he realised what the noise was, and blushed.
Jonas was reclined on his bed, one hand down his pants. His eyes were closed and his head thrown back, and his shirt had ridden up so there was nothing hiding the bulge of his hand moving beneath fabric. Frederick followed the line of Jonas' throat, swallowing hard when the man moaned again. He watched as Jonas shimmied out of his pants and realised with a burst of shame that his own trousers had grown significantly tighter. Frederick shifted, trying to relieve some of the pressure, and kept his eyes glued to the screen as he turned the volume on his headphones up.
On the screen, Jonas brought an hand to his face and licked his palm, then went back to stroking his dick, a fluttery sigh escaping him at the contact. Frederick's throat went dry, and his tongue darted out from between his lips to wet them. His cock twitched, and he felt torn between desire and disgust. What sort of doctor got off to his patient- a prisoner no less? He sat struggling with himself for a moment longer, his erection straining at the front of his pants while Jonas jerked off in his cell; then, with a frustrated huff and his face burning, he snaked a hand down his front and unzipped his pants. It wouldn't hurt to get it out of his system, he reasoned, and besides, no one would know. He let out a heavy breath as he took himself in hand, stroking slowly. On screen, Jonas was picking up speed, one hand stroking his shaft while the other teased his balls. Mimicking Jonas' earlier action, Frederick wet his palm with saliva, then reached back down and sped up his pace to match Jonas'. As their breathing picked up speed, Frederick could hear whispering, and a hot flash of arousal shot through him when he realised Jonas was praying. Frederick couldn't stop the low groan that escaped him then, as Jonas' voice grew louder in his ears. He clasped a hand over his mouth, trapping the soft noises that escaped his lips. Jonas seemed to be getting close, his breathing became more laboured and his words were stuttered, but he kept speaking, and Frederick kept listening.
"Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God- fuck. Pray for us sinners now, a-and at the hour of death," Jonas gasped, "Amen- ah! Fuck, Jesus Christ Frederick-"
Frederick hadn't realised his eyes had fallen shut until they snapped open, and he stilled for a moment. Had he heard that correctly? Cursing quietly, he gripped his cock tighter and quickened his pace, using his thumb to smooth precome down his shaft. His name had never sounded so sinful. He felt heat pooling in his belly and couldn't help thrusting up into his hand as he let Jonas' voice wash over him. Jonas' prayers were cut off suddenly with a throaty moan, and he gasped Frederick's name again as he came.
Frederick arched as he reached his own climax, trying desperately to keep quiet as he drowned in waves of sensation, continuing to stroke through his orgasm. As the pleasure ebbed away, he relaxed into his sofa, and when he pulled his headphones off, Frederick became aware of just how loud his raggedy breathing was in the emptiness of his office. Heat crept up his neck as he came back to himself, realising what he'd done. He slammed the laptop shut and placed it on the table with a clatter. Looking down at his front, he made a face and groaned. Frederick tucked himself back in his pants and zipped up, then got up and grabbed some tissues from his desk and wiped himself off as best as he could. Grabbing his jacket, he paused for a moment to adjust his shirt so that any stains would be hidden, then hurried out the door. The final report could wait until morning.
Frederick's next appointment with Jonas wasn't scheduled until the next day, so when Frederick arrived in the morning, he had some time to prepare himself for their meeting. He could feel himself redden every time he thought of Jonas- how was he to spend an entire hour with the man when his very name brought such vivid memories of the previous night?
After half and hour of attempting to focus on his unfinished report, Frederick gave up and decided to grab a coffee- maybe interacting with people other than security guards could shake him out of his funk.
Grabbing his coat, he let the secretary know where he'd be, and left. As he rounded the corner, he heard the clink of metal and the shuffle of a prisoner's feet; when he looked towards the sound, he saw that it was Jonas. Frederick blanched, and tried to school his face into a neutral expression, but he could feel his ears burn when Jonas' eyes met his. Frederick nodded jerkily, and Jonas' mouth curled into a knowing smirk. He winked at Frederick as they passed, and Frederick froze for a moment, before forcing himself to keep walking.
Jonas couldn't know, could he? There was no way. Frederick shook his head and kept walking, thoughts of Jonas plaguing him every step of the way.