Hot water covers the woman's sensitive breasts and begins to cover her naked, vulnerable body in small rivulets. She shudders involuntarily, her hands touching the fabric separating her from the cold bath and feeling the hot and stifling sweat of the water, closes her eyes, letting out a languid sigh.
There were too many people outside the door of her shared room with Rory, too many eyes. She was already fucking trying to get his attention. Sex with a view of the endless forest «killer» and a hot Jacuzzi on the street, really, the guy was not seized with adrenaline already from this? Hell, it was a great sex. Audrey blossoms in a new way, from the way a young guy fucks her and whispers in her ear that she is the most beautiful and sexy woman he has ever met and touched. And then she sees him gawking at other girls, even in her presence, on this stupid movie set. Fuck, the honeymoon was hell for both of them.
The woman's skin remembers how a few minutes ago the red-haired actor touched her with his long fingers in the soapy and sweet-smelling water of the Jacuzzi, and running his hands over her bare torso, touching her nipples, Audrey twitches the edge of her lips in a sad smile. He gave her a boost and strength for a new happy life. After the first season of «The Curse of Roanoke», Audrey Tindall became a fucking sought-after actress and quite expensive, if you remember how her agent praised the woman for it, foreshadowing the actress a long path of increasing fame and recognition. But like her, Rory was just getting on the path of being a good actor. When he got the call about the audition, the woman was not surprised, but something jumped when she realized that he could leave and knew that he would definitely get the role. With such a talent as he has, it is unlikely that many of his peers will be able to achieve such results at this age. When they decided to get married, the British woman did not think that she would be loved and desired again, no, not at this age, it seemed to her. Rory was young and energetic, and the world was still an unknown sandbox for him. Of course, as Audrey saw it, she was like a cage holding Rory to herself. He should be teaching roles, going to clubs, and sleeping with a lot of beautiful girls at once, instead of constantly reminding the actress that he won't throw her in any convenient situation. Maybe it was because she doubted him and herself that she was so hurt by Shelby's words.
— I'm so happy for you guys, — Shelby said with a tight smile and a sad look in her eyes, — at least something good came out of this place. — I lost my husband, and you found a new one…
— Thanks, — Audrey said automatically. Thousands of people from her entourage and millions of fans have already congratulated them, so this response is more just a light kindness, rather than sincere gratitude — yes, probably so!
Shelby's face had fallen even further and she was staring at a single point on the table.
— You know, it's never too late for love…
— I'm sorry what? You mean when your heart gets hard, — Audrey snapped, attacking and watching Shelby shake her head sharply; the others didn't understand the woman's sharp response, but they didn't say anything, — or when a woman's vagina dries up and she turns thirty, she's not worthy of love?
— I didn't mean that… Im talking about myself…
Shelby looked shy and confused, why did she have to make a mistake and make herself look like a victim? Shelby, god damnit, has been through hell, and she's still fucking going through it. A woman faced with fucking ghosts, crazy hillbillies, corrupt cops, a witch who ruined her marriage, and this blood moon. At first, Shelby almost lost her life when they were captured by the Polks, but when they escaped from their own legally acquired land, the woman thought that she would have been better off dying in the dirty hands of these pigs. Her husband openly told her that he did not love her and said that this loving part of him remained in the house. Then the woman remembered that dirty witch and how her husband fucked this creature. She'd left a lot behind in Roanoke, too, like her dreams. When that freaking old woman crushed her ankle with a huge hammer, the doctors said that she would no longer be able to do sports and yoga to the full extent as before. Dreams of opening your own yoga school -disappeared into thin air. Yoga — something that helped her relax, forget herself — now brings only discomfort. Like the dream of a family. When one day, the blonde reached out to kiss her beloved man, the only one who remained with her, he recoiled from her and with a blank expression, seriously declared that he could not be near her. She was left alone. And then there was that freak Dominic, who had taken advantage of her when she was alone. Her husband now thought of her as a whore, and even though she still loved him, or thought she did, Shelby didn't know for sure.
After storming out of her seat in front of the British actress in tears and having a fight in addition with this killer Lee, Shelby ran to her room, leaving everyone in the audience in a state of confusion. Audrey wasn't so nasty all the time. Although out of female solidarity and sympathized with the woman, still did not deny that she was a naive fool, and her husband is easy on the point and does not mind fucking the unwashed plague from the last millennium.
It's just that she thought it was no good for her to poke at her relationship, and most importantly, her age. Shelby is only one to blame. A weak-willed, «twitchy bitch», as Audrey put it to her husband, — if she were a little more determined and stronger, she could not only get out of this mess alive, which I don't really believe in, but also take her husband away from some magical bitch.
Audrey had already finished with the hot bath and was standing in a towel in front of the mirror, still thinking, brushing her wet hair. She had signed a contract with Sydney and was here under the watchful eyes of the cameras. But when she put her signature there, on that demonic piece of paper, Audrey didn't waste a moment thinking, knowing that Rory would be there. And now? Now she wasn't sure. He's going to leave, run away for an audition. And he would do it, despite the fact that he would break the contract already in force and leave his wife in this house with psychos and murderers. Well, just fucking fine, such a «prospect», to be honest. And the longer she thinks about it, the worse the situation seems to her.
Rubbing her neck, massaging her tired spine, she closes her eyes and just forgets about time, standing there in the middle of the room with a towel and wet hair. The rising sun, on the second day of Sydney's show, the Curse of Roanoke, was just rising, and through the bathroom windows it reflected a shadow on the floor of the room. Audrey is courageous. At least, that's what she thought. If shit happens, she can handle it. Exhaling wearily after a day of stress, flying and unpacking, and a crumpled morning with all these thoughts, Audrey remembered the wine cellar, realizing that she needed a glass of wine and smiling with thoughts of sparkling red, she was about to leave the bathroom. Opening her bold brown eyes, she sees her reflection in the fogged-up mirror around the edges, and noticing a wrinkle near her eyes, she moves closer, wiping the steam from the surface with her palm to examine the signs of her aging. Hell, another disappointment, a beautician wouldn't hurt right now.
Something jerked in the mirror behind the woman — a sharp black blur. Breaking away from looking at her beloved face, the actress turned her gaze to a black, cloudy spot and to clarify the picture, slowly raised her fingertips to the mirror and erased the fogged part that hid something from the actress' gaze. Right there in the mirror, where the woman's fingers had just left the surface of the glass, a pig's bloody face appeared, knife in hand. In disbelief, Audrey quickly looked back at the glitch. But her vision did not deceive her, right two meters away from her there is a terrible creature that looks exactly like the actor from the first season of this idiot Cindy and swings at her with a not weak knife, screeching like a pig. The last time Audrey screamed like that was when she was playing Shelby.
Rushing out of the room and into the hall in nothing but a towel, the woman screams and cries uncontrollably. A fucking freak for the sake of the rating is ready to get into her pants, just to make it work. How did he even get into the bathroom if the British woman was there alone and the door was locked? Rushing to the stairs, she slides her wet feet on the floor, afraid to fall, grabs the railing and tries to control herself, goes down to the group that remained below.
The woman's eyes are filled with tears of fear and with her already imperfect vision, everything around her becomes cloudy. Having already overcome the stairs and run out into the hall, she collides with the figure above her. Pressed against her body and scared as hell, she feels long fingers slide over her bare shoulders and begin to soothe her, stroking and drawing circles on her skin. The British woman sobbed deeply, inhaling the smell of women's perfume and calming down to a state of conversation, holding her forearms with her hands and starting to talk hysterically:
— Sidney, you're fucking bastard, — she continues, shouting, — he sent some freak in a pig man costume to scare me in the shower!
— How could he… — Shelby said, her voice outraged and twitchy.
As Audrey wiped the tears from her eyes, she realized that she was clinging to Shelby Miller like a drowning man to a lifeline. The blonde was there when the others were still dealing with Matt and Dominic. Shelby ran out of there in tears, upset and heartbroken, when Audrey flew into her, scared to death. She would have liked it to be Rory, but he was already clearly gone… Recoiling from the warm hands of the woman, not knowing what to say, the British woman noticed how the others approached them.
— What the fuck, Audrey? — Dominic screamed, his lip bruised. Then, noticing the dark-skinned man, Audrey looked first at him, and then at Shelby with red eyes, who ran to her room, a couple of seconds ago holding the actress in her arms.
— There was some ghoul in my bathroom that Sydney hired, — she said more calmly, hugging the man, — when did you get here?
— Recently… — he says heavily. — I'll go check it out.
The man went upstairs to check the bathroom, and Audrey had to get dressed and have a drink, now a glass of wine would not be enough to distract her from this horror-whiskey on the rocks, that's her choice for the evening. As she ran, she could feel herself sweating again and would like to take a shower again, but in this house, she would hardly be able to wash properly now. Sydney's a motherfucker.
Shelby just didn't know what she was expecting when she came to this house. Matt had done that to her, but she still clung to him. She'd looked for him outside of Roanoke, but here they were surrounded by walls and woods, and Shelby thought the man would have no choice. But here, too, he avoided her as best he could. For Shelby, the main mystery was why he had agreed to come back here in the first place, nothing should have kept him in this house, and Matt was not the kind of person who would chase money. And then it was as if someone had slapped Shelby and she'd seen the light. That dirty witch… He's here because of her… It was the only thing on her mind. He didn't want her… he wanted that red-haired woman. Shelby wanted answers, and when she saw Matt in the kitchen, finally crawling out of the basement, determined, she was going to come over and torture him with questions, — who is she, who is this thing that took him from her?
Then they were brazenly interrupted.
Dominic's here. And all Shelby's hopes were dashed. She felt like a dirty and terrible wife again. Cursing Sydney for the hundredth time that day, she had been involved in a fight between two dark-skinned men who had once touched her, and that had been the last straw. Shelby needs to get away from everyone, close up, be alone. After they left the house, Shelby thought that she would never be alone again, but people sometimes disappointed and hurt, and she had to hide. And that's what she was about to do when Audrey flew in, stopping her with a hug. Avoiding further conversation, after the collision, she went up to her room.
When the door slammed and was closed, Shelby's whole world began to fall apart again, just as it had in the pickup truck when she was being driven to the slaughterhouse like some kind of animal. When her leg was broken, as an animal is wounded, something could not go far and died nearby, and then the hunting dogs would bring the prey to the hunter, and the Polks would bring it to the Butcher. The old wound ached and her legs buckled as she carried her body to the chair.
She sobbed uncontrollably, sobbing and shuddering, wiping her face with her hands, over and over, until her palms were completely wet. She was weak. Didn't Matt see that? He promised her that he would love her forever and take care of her, protecting her from the likes of that bitch, not fucking them in front of his own wife. Didn't Shelby deserve to be loved? Just a little human warmth? So fucking much? Survive this madhouse, survive and continue to suffer? Sometimes, she wonders if she's already dead and gone to her own personal hell, because this shit is just like it.
The tears continued to flow, and her shoulders shook with each sob, but Shelby didn't make another sound. Her attention was caught by a camera lying on her clean bedclothes and apparently splattered with someone's blood. Someone brought it here. Is Sydney here to abuse her again?
— Shelby, — woman jumping away from the wardrobe at the sound of a familiar voice. In the wardrobe, there was a familiar female silhouette that she stared at with wet blue eyes, — remember me?
— Agnes, — Shelby whispered, startled.
— Noo-o-o-o, The Butcher! That's my name! That's who I am! — the actress shouted at the woman, confidently holding a cleaver in her hands. All of the woman's clothing she'd worn in the first season of this whole nightmare was covered in blood and mud, what the fuck was Agnes doing here and why did Sydney let her, was this a joke or something?
— What are you doing here? — Shelby mumbled, getting up from her knees and backing toward the safety exit.
Then the older woman began to mumble something in an incomprehensible language, like a line from a script, raising her gaze to the ceiling, giving her victim a chance. And when she decided to rush to the door, Agnes shouted:
— I've come for you, Shelby Miller, to finish what I started!
The sharp blade sank into the woman's flesh, slicing it easily and causing the victim to fall to his knees, starting to scream in pain. The Butcher, perfectly played, began to smile maniacally, scaring the bloodied Shelby even more.
— You're going to die, child, — and with that, she swung her arm over the woman's head and started to laugh as she was about to cut her blonde pumpkin in half.
Shelby closed her eyes, waiting for death. God, she had nothing to lose. A terrible dull pain spread all over the left side of her body, and her strength was rapidly draining away… Seconds before the cleaver ended her failed life and decided to commit one last heroic and stupid act, Shelby pulled out her phone and began filming. It seems that Agnes did not expect this and froze for a couple of seconds, gave the opportunity to the man who burst into the room, as well as possible, to save the life of a woman. With his whole body, he pounced on the old woman and knocked the cold weapon out of her hands with a strong blow, Shelby could still hear the man rattling in her room, breaking the mirror, but then the noises began to recede, she moved. Monet and Audrey grabbed her by the arms and dragged her out of the room, carrying her to the British woman's room.
— Fuck! Agnes — all we needed right now! — Monet swore, pulling Shelby to the edge of the bed.
— I knew we'd seen her! — Darting around the room, looking for a first aid kit and any cloth that will fit as a bandage, she returns to Shelby and tries to talk to her. — Holy shit! Shelby, don't switch off!
Monet watched as Shelby's left side turned purple faster and faster, soaking up the fresh blood in her clothes, which didn't stop pouring, completely dumbfounded. Audrey, having got everything she needed for first aid, flew to Shelby and attended to her wound. Ripping the remains of the shirt off the woman's shoulder, she saw an ugly open wound. The cut was deep, running down the middle between the woman's neck and her shoulder, and the blood was gushing, and if you didn't stop it properly, you could say goodbye to the blonde. Shelby had already lost enough blood to make her mind go blank, and with the pain so intense, she was hanging in limbo, ready to pass out at any moment. When Audrey began to pour alcohol over her shoulder, decontaminating the wound from everything that was on Agnes' knife, Shelby began to fall, lowering her head lower and lower, hissing in pain and whimpering. Audrey grabbed her shoulders, lifting her head, looking at her, trying to hold on to Shelby as she fell.
— Hey! Shel! Don't sleep! You need to sit up straight, I need to close the wound! — Audrey shouted as the woman in front of her sat with her eyes half-closed and her face pale. Audrey was frightened again. Now even a drink won't help you forget those frightened, clouded eyes and the huge amount of her friend's blood. They were friends, after all. Not the best, no, but friends. They had to communicate on the set, willy-nilly, they learned something about each other. When she contacted Shelby on the set, Audrey would ask how to behave properly and what it was like to be Shelby Miller. Although this was not Audrey's favorite role, on the contrary, you can say, not a favorite, the woman played Shelby as a real woman would behave in real life. The British woman learned the scenarios and behavior of her prototype, thus getting acquainted with Miller. She learned a lot about her life. The woman has always been kind to the actress, and to everyone around her, such is her character and nature. Shelby is friendly and sweet, and she was hit with a foul language by Audrey and a knife by Agnes. Hell, Audrey felt sick and ashamed that she might have hurt someone.
— Monet! Lee! Help! Someone hold her down, I have to do a dressing!
Monet didn't move, usually alcohol gives her courage, but even with the amount she drank, not a muscle moved in the direction of the victim. Lee, who had been with Matt all this time, came running from the hall, stunned by what she saw, grabbing her daughter-in-law and holding her upright. Audrey was pulling the torn sheets tightly over Shelby's wound. As soon as the light cloth covered the wound, it was instantly soaked with blood and became completely wet. It was only after a few efforts that the wound was closed and the blood no longer flowed. If it wasn't for the role of doctors and zero knowledge in first aid, Audrey would have never coped.
— Shelby? Do you hear me? How are you doing? — Audrey clutched at the woman in front of her, trembling like a leaf. Fuck, playing it on the screen and messing around in red dyes is one thing, but watching it in real life and touching the blood are completely different things. The British woman put her hand on Shelby's cheek and pushed her hair back, lifting her face, which the woman could not keep straight. — Hey, open your eyes, come on…
Shelby couldn't sit straight, and Lee was holding her by the arms, leaning on her. She couldn't feel her own body, just a strong tingling sensation in her limbs and a heavy head that kept tipping back until someone took her cheeks in their hands and pointed her face straight at the person sitting in front of her. Feeling the touch and the sound of someone shouting, Shelby struggled to open her eyes, looking at the women in front of her.
— I'm… fine… I think… — Shelby's voice was short and weak.
— Damn, girl, you scared us all, — Monet said, still not getting close.
— Come on, Lee, let's put her on the bed…
Shelby's upper body was completely stained with blood, and she shouldn't have been left in this state, especially since she was lying on Audrey's bed, having already stained the woman's bedspread with bloodstains. Cameras were all over the house, the team, along with Sydney, should have already called an ambulance, the cops, or at least a group of their own people, it remains to wait a little and they will help Shelby better than them. But as she gets up from her seat and goes into the bathroom, Audrey puts her dirty hands on the cold surface of the sink and gives herself time to rest.
Taking a deep breath and letting go of the tension, she rolls up the sleeves of her dress and turns on the hot water. Slowly, calming herself, she washes her hands with soap and water, carefully washing away the blood and brushing it from under her fingernails. Then she switches the water to cold and takes the cool liquid in her hands, splashing it on her face, washing away all the sweat. She takes a towel and buries her eyes in it, inhaling the smell of clean cloth, then wetting it and leaving the bathroom.
Removing the torn shirt from Shelby, she runs a towel over her naked body, causing her to twitch and then goosebumps. Audrey gently and carefully wipes all the blood from Shelby, trying to disturb the woman as little as possible. The towel had to be rinsed and then finished with the torso. Small drops of blood were on the cheeks of the blonde and the actress, gently running the cloth over her face, causing Shelby to open her eyes and look directly at her, with her reddened eyes. Audrey stared at the heavenly eyes until tears flowed from them.
— Shelby, what is it? Are you in pain?
The bandaged woman nodded, her lower lip clenched in pain. Monet took the lead, and without waiting for Audrey to tell her to go get some painkillers, she went herself.
— Lee, where's Matt? — Shelby asked in a whisper, hoping that her husband would visit her in this state.
— He's in the basement, I don't think he'll come up while Dominic's here…
Shelby's lower lip quivered and she squeezed her eyes shut, sobbing, forcing tears to roll down her cheeks. Lee grimaced a little, wishing she hadn't said it. A dark-skinned actress had just entered the room with a painkiller and a glass of water.
— Here, Shel, drink this and rest, — Audrey said, holding the glass out to the woman with still trembling hands, and helping Shelby to empty the glass.
— Agnes gone, - Dominic entered the room, growling with anger. His fist was covered in blood, possibly shrapnel from the mirror had hit his palm, but he was not seriously injured.
— What do you mean?! How the fuck did she leave? - Monet's voice rose to a shout. The actress was not distinguished by a special calmness and composure, so she began to visibly freak out.
— I don't know, okay? I almost knocked her out, and then she distracted me and disappeared out of the blue! - The man was shouting in his hoarse and raspy voice, though it wasn't loud enough, and Leigh started shouting back at him:
— God, you can't handle an old lady! Where did you even come from?
— Sidney called me, and in case you didn't see, that motherfucker lady had a knife and she stabbed Shelby with it, — he says, just thinking about her, and then he looks at her and continues. — How is she, is the wound deep?
— If you all stop yelling and shut up for a minute, you'll let her rest, you idiots, — Audrey spat. She was sitting on the bed next to Shelby, still holding a wet towel.
— Shelby, how are you? — Ignoring the actress' words, Dominic approached the bed with the wounded woman and asked her at once.
The blonde opened her eyes and looked painfully at the actor. On the one hand, because of him, her husband does not want to talk and contact her, and on the other, he saved her life… But whether she needed this life or not, she didn't know. Shelby didn't say anything, just turned away and sobbed softly again.
— Go away, can't you see that she doesn't want to see you? — Lee snapped. She and the dark-skinned man had a mutual dislike, essentially because of one injured blonde.
Dominic cursed, took one last look at the bandaged woman, and muttered something under his breath about checking the house for Agnes, left the room. The women relaxed a little. Monet, having finished her flask of strong alcohol, decided that this was a good reason to leave the trio and went downstairs for more. Lee and Audrey put a sweater on Shelby and put her already washed figure in bed, just to get her to sleep. The pills began to take effect and the blonde began to nod off. The actresses decided to leave her alone.
— W-wait… — the woman squeaked excitedly. — Don't leave me alone. What if she comes back?
After exchanging glances with each other, Audrey stayed. Lee made a face that even the British woman was disgusted. Someone will soon have to come to the rescue, so it is unlikely that you will have to rot here for a long time. Especially since Shelby is about to fall asleep, the actress will stay on friendly terms for a while.
— Thank you, Audrey…
— Don't worry. You've had a bad time…
— What the fuck is she doing here, and why me?..
Audrey wanted to roll her eyes, but Shelby was looking at her intently, waiting for an answer. Again, this whining and self-flagellation began, the actress was annoyed. Even when in the first season, the British woman played a woman, she constantly had to call for help from her husband, whine and seem completely helpless. Shelby's not a fighter. Completely. What did she say, «Flight or fight»? Well, she'll definitely run away. Yes, and now continues to run. From her husband, from Dominic, from herself… so weak.
— I think because you were the only one upstairs… we should all stay together until things get better.
— I hope Sydney puts that bitch away now that someone's hurt…
— Yes, the first time after me was only enough for the psych ward, now she'll take it in full, don't worry.
— It's still scary…
Shelby shivers. Audrey didn't even notice it right away. When Agnes was banging on the door to the actress, she laid a lot of bricks, the British woman does not even know how Shelby feels. The woman's hands fidgeting on the blanket and fidgeting nervously, her eyes darting around the room from window to door and vice versa, Audrey felt sorry for the woman-again. The blonde went through a lot, you can understand it, but no one wanted it, not that Audrey wanted it, just when you think about it, everything that happened to her is unfair. A womanizing husband, a terrible property purchase, a miscarriage, an affair with a bastard, and Agnes adding fuel to the fire… Audrey moves closer and puts her hand on Shelby's arms, stopping her from playing with the blanket. She squeezes them, drawing the wounded woman's attention, and then, unexpectedly, she gives them away:
— Hey, Shelbs, I'm here, don't be afraid. If anything happened, I'm always here to help, — Audrey doesn't know why, but she says it in a way that makes her believe it.
Shelby looks at the British woman with half-asleep eyes, wants to tell her that she is a liar, an actress, nothing more. Remind her how she'd yelled at her and cursed her down there a couple of hours ago, and now she was acting like this. Is this an aggravation or is this how all Brits behave? She doesn't need this lie, there's already a lot of it in her life. She wants to pull her hands away from her, to move away, but she can't. The eyes close themselves, the hands do not move. They lie under the warm palms of the woman, warming up, she does not remove them, probably thinks that Shelby is satisfied with everything. In a way, it's really nice. Such a calming gesture, from which the woman immediately fell into a dream. She couldn't open her eyes anymore, only felt the blanket fall over her shoulders and the actress moved to the window, and then blackness…