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Living Ghost

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John stared down at Roxanna, a tiny smirk on his lips as he watched her eyes track his movements. It was the only thing she could move, and it pleased him no end that he had her under his control to such an extent. Now, there would be no need to try and separate her from Henrik, and he could have the best of both worlds. Leaning down, he caressed her face tenderly before taking a seat on the bed next to her. "I know that I'll eventually have to release you from this prison, Roxanna, but for right now, you're in no position to worry about when that time will be. Do not worry, I know exactly how long I can string you along until the mental deterioration is too great to even think about reversing what's happened, and I will not allow it to get that far. Because I love you, Roxy."

As he watched her face carefully, a few tears began to slowly track down her face, rolling towards her hair. Stretching out on her body, he gently flicked a few of those tears away before tracing her features with his fingers. He almost imagined her looking fearfully at him, and let out a soft sigh as he shook his head. "I never wanted to hurt you, darling, you must believe that. When Meena struck you with her car, it was a fine bit of kismet, because then I knew that I could have both you and Henrik in my life, without worrying about you separating us. Because he does love you, so much, Roxy."

Giving her a kinder smile, he closed the distance between their faces and pressed his lips against hers. The kiss wasn't very fulfilling, even he could admit that. A part of him imagined that it was what kissing a corpse might be like, even though Roxanna was still warm and soft and malleable. "I know there will come a day when you kiss me back with all the passion in your body, darling," he whispered in her ear before pressing another kiss to her cheek. Getting out of the bed, he could see that she was still crying, and he felt a flicker of anger flame up in his breast. "You should be grateful to me for even saving you, Roxanna. I could have let you die, locked in, helpless, alone. But now, you have a chance to live once more. And I have a chance to finish my work. Everything is falling into place exactly as it should."

Stomping over to the door, he took one last look at her before shaking his head and making his way down to the kitchen. It surprised him to see that he was still alone, since normally she was there for supper. Though perhaps there had been a surgery to take care of, so she hadn't been able to get away. John knew that there were probably people who were missing him at the hospital, but he dare not leave Roxanna alone at this juncture. He was still fearful that something might happen, and then he would have to explain how a woman, supposedly dead, was dead again, and in this place. There wouldn't be any explanation, and then this house of cards would come crashing down around him.

Letting out a deep sigh, he shook his head and grabbed a quick sandwich from the fridge before heading back up to the bedroom, taking a seat on the end of the bed and watching Roxanna intently as he ate. There was something almost soothing about the steady breaths Roxanna took, and he found himself hypnotized by the gentle rise and fall of her diaphragm. Once he had finished his sandwich, he wiped his hands in his pants before stretching out alongside Roxanna once more, his arm coming to rest around her waist as he took in a few deep breaths, allowing the feeling of her breathing to lull him into a light sleep.

The next thing he knew, John was being shaken awake by a familiar set of hands, and he blinked his eyes a little as he sat up and stretched. "Henrik was asking after you. I had to give him an excuse, but I don't think that he was really listening to me. He misses Roxanna."

"Yes, well, he still has me."

Essie gave him a little smirk as she rolled her eyes. "You're going to have to choose between them at some point, you know," she said as she took a seat on the other side of Roxanna, looking down into her face. "Though Henrik might make that choice for you when he finds out that you've been keeping her alive behind his back. And that could lead to prison time for both of us. I'd rather avoid that if possible, since I don't think I'd be treated well there."

"Neither of us would survive prison for any length of time. And considering the things we've done at Holby, under the guise of my research, I have no doubt that we would go away for a very long time." Roxanna had started to cry once more, and he reached up to wipe them away once more. "I should probably head back to Holby, and conveniently run into Henrik in order to allay his suspicions. Take care of her while I'm gone, and if you want to search for an in home care agency so that we can spend more time at Holby, at least until the ghost of Roxanna leaves the place, that would probably be wise." Essie nodded and then John turned his attention back to Roxanna. "I have to go now, darling, but I'll be back soon, and we can see about what we can do to make you happier."

Not caring that Essie was watching, he bent down and kissed Roxanna once more, stroking her hair softly before getting off the bed and making his way to the door. John left without looking back, knowing that Essie would probably be glaring at him. She had already gotten on his case about him being a little too close to Roxanna, when she was currently locked in, and he didn't want to deal with that at the moment, not when he had to focus on coming up with a believable excuse for his absence. After all, it might be difficult to explain why he was going to be absent at random times for the foreseeable future, and he had to get Henrik to trust him implicitly before he decided to do a little more digging into why Roxanna had had a closed casket funeral, and how Essie had gotten her friend to do the postmortem instead of the doctor on call that day. There was such a carefully constructed narrative that they had to navigate, and John was not about to allow it to come crashing down around him, if he could help it. And if he needed to take Essie out to ensure that happened, well, she would just be another casualty on his road to making the perfect family from the ashes of this awful incident.