As she awoke the next morning it took her a moment to remember where she was, Ed was gone from beside her and she was curled up. Remembering that her dad wasn't nearby, that he was being held and possibly tortured brought tears to her eyes and quietly, she began to sob. She wanted to go home; she wanted to be with her daddy. She didn't like being there all alone with no one, she hardly even knew Ed. She screwed up her eyes and sobbed her little heart out her eyes only snapping open when she felt a hand close around her own and then she found herself looking into the eyes of Ed. In an instant she was sat upright and his arms were around her. Even though they barely knew each other Ed's orders had been to take care of her and make sure she was okay right up until the end of his part in the scenario.
As Derren watched this happening he was tempted to call off the rest of the experiment, a part of him felt that this was no longer safe; she was too scared, too alone. But when he voiced his concerns it was met with a couple of murmurs of agreement but the majority of the rest of the crew and producers claiming that she still seemed stable and she would remain so until she'd seen the rest of the experiment out. Derren had no choice but to keep to the plan and he sat down again, staring at his daughter worriedly on the little black and white screen.
Once Maddie had cried her out completely Ed moved away a bit and sat opposite her on the bed. They were close but not touching and she turned to face him but stared down at her hands clasped in her lap.
'I'm sorry.' She whispered and he shook his head but she didn't relent. 'I feel so bad, everything that's gone wrong so far has been my entire fault. I'm so sorry.'
This time he shook his head more firmly and took her hands. 'Don't be so silly. You're alone and you're scared and I understand that, I am too. I can't find my mum. I'm seventeen, I came here with my mum because she'd hurt her ankle and now… I think she's dead. But I have you. And I promise I'll get you back to your dad.' He said sternly and she gave him a watery smile.
'Thank you…' she muttered and Ed's ear was suddenly filled with Derren's voice.
'Ed? Can you try and comfort her a bit more please? And maybe show a little bit more that you fancy her as well. Thanks, you're doing really well so far as well.' Derren said into the ear-pieces before sitting back in his chair to observe what was to come.
Maddie looked slightly uncomfortable as they sat together and Ed tried to work out what he was going to say and do. 'Maddie,' he began hesitantly and held her hand tighter, looking into her eyes. 'No matter what happens you're gonna be okay. I promise I'll go to the end of the earth to protect you, I know… we've just met and this is probably really weird circumstances. But I am so glad I met you, even when I saw you on the telly I sort of had this little crush on you… I even came to see one of your dad's shows, more to see you assisting than anything. The seats were crap but it meant I got to come to stage door to meet you after. It was a Saturday so I knew you'd be there and not resting up for school the next day or anything. But the truth is, meeting you has been really special to me, and I do really like you… probably more than I should.' He finished and blushed. Most of what he'd said was true, the only thing that wasn't completely truthful was the bit about the seats being crap, they'd been pretty good seats actually.
Maddie stared at him for a moment, completely amazed at what she'd just heard, this felt odd to her, she'd never really been interested in boys before but now, looking at him after hearing him say that it was like she was seeing him in a completely new light. And all she could think to utter was, 'I don't go to school, I'm privately tutored….'
Derren burst out laughing at his daughters stunned reaction, of course he felt slightly over-protective at seeing her so close to this boy and he'd sounded so convincing. Perhaps there was an element of truth to his speech? But he was also happy for her, all through her teenage years he'd hoped she would come home and want to talk about boys and relationships. Secretly, it had been something he'd really been looking forward to ever since he adopted her. But she'd just never shown any interest, and then seeing her with Ed was like she was a completely different person. And he liked that.
Ed laughed gently and Maddie couldn't stop herself laughing with him.
'You have a really pretty laugh…' he said, keeping a grin on his face and as she blushed and ducked her head he brought a hand up to brush her hair out of her face and she looked up at him, smiling gently. He kept his hand on her cheek, caressing it gently (Derren watched eagerly and edged forward in his seat, anticipating the moment). He leaned closer to her and without thinking she mirrored him, her heart pounding in her chest and her palms sweaty, clasped together in her lap. She was nervous and terrified but everything seemed so calm at the same time. Everything seemed so surreal, so strange. That was when the first and only inkling of doubt traced through her brain, but the hypnotherapy had trained her subconscious to dismiss the idea. Derren had been working on this for months, subliminally training her for her experience.
Ed kissed her softly and Derren gave a loud noise that couldn't be described in words. His crew were all grinning as they turned to see him grinning like an idiot and leaning forward, his chin on his hands and staring at the screens. 'Shall we send in Ed's men?' one of the crew members asked him and Derren paused for a moment before nodding and grinning.
Ed pulled away from her and she remained there, frozen in shock but a smile spreading across her face. 'That was really nice…' she whispered and as he went in for another kiss they were interrupted by the loud voices of men outside the door. They both turned quickly and she was frozen in fear. Gently he took her hand and led her into the bathroom. He whispered for her to stay hidden there and not come out until he told her to. As he shut the door she locked it and crouched down behind it in the darkness. After a few moments she heard gunshots and the door of the patients' room being kicked open violently and then Ed's trembling voice: 'Please! Please don't hurt me!'
'You know where the girl is?!' a gruff voice yelled and she began to shake, biting her nails until she could taste blood but she ignored it.
'No! No I swear! I saw her in the east wing but that was yesterday! I haven't seen her since I swear!' Ed exclaimed and Maddie smiled weakly as he protected her. She heard the gruff voice giving another order and the sound of the next gunshot rang in her ears for what seemed like an eternity. Paralyzed with fear she remained crouched, huddling against the door and chewing on her nails. After about five minutes she heard banging on the door and Ed's voice, but it seemed strained, through gritted teeth. 'Maddie. Come out now.' Slowly, she ventured outside the bathroom.
The door lay flat on the floor, kicked in but the men were gone. Ed had successfully forced them away, but Ed… He lay on the floor just behind the bathroom door, his white shirt now had a stain of blood spread across his front and he was clamping his hand to his lower chest. Feeling weak Maddie dropped to her knees beside him, staring at the blood, she found she couldn't say anything, couldn't even move. She just stared.
'Maddie…' Ed said coaxingly, he wasn't afraid; he reached out for her hand. Shaking, she took it weakly but he gripped her hand tightly and looked into her eyes. Tears spilled down both their cheeks and the blood pool continued to spread.
'But…' Maddie breathed but Ed but a bloody finger to her lips, leaving traces of blood on her lips and chin before his hand dropped, he smiled slightly at her, saying goodbye, and he was still. He successfully managed to hold his breath long enough so that she sat motionless for a few moments, staring at Ed's "dead" body. When her phone rang she jumped out of her trance and looked down at her hands, feeling numb she stood and walked back into the bathroom, ignoring the buzzing in her pocket and she washed her hands in the sink. The water ran pink long after her phone had finished ringing and even once it ran clear again she stood there, the feeling of the water rushing over her hands a therapeutic change to the all too familiar feeling of pain, fear and panic. She leant down and splashed water across her face, rubbing it into her eyes and pulling her hair back out of her face. It was only when her phone buzzed again that she jumped and fished it out of her pocket. She held it up to her ear and was surprised at the sound of her own voice.
'Daddy?' she said, her voice shaking and at hearing this and seeing her state on the camera, Derren was tempted to call off the experiment and to confess to her that it had all been devised for her, but then again his gut was telling him to continue and see it through.
'Maddie.' Derren said in hushed tones, 'are you alright?'
'Not really…' she whispered. 'Is there really no way you do some magic thing to get free?' To Derren she sounded like she was nine years old all over again, and then it clicked in his brain, the death of Ed, it had been so similar to the death of her mother that it had taken her back to being an eight year old. All alone and abandoned in the world, petrified of the little things around her. This had gone far enough; he would meet her and own up to the truth.
'I'll do everything I can, meet me in the canteen in the centre of the hospital.' He said rushed and they said goodbye and hung up.
Maddie turned around slowly and walked out, she deliberately didn't look at the body on the floor and snuck into the corridor, she glanced nervously around before starting off further into the depth of the hospital. Ed was gone now she was completely alone in the maze of the hospital. How long would it take her father to find her in this labyrinth? And how would they get out again afterwards? She tapped her fingers together nervously and after about five minutes of blind walking she finally saw a sign for the hospital canteen, she followed the directions for the heart of the hospital and when she arrived she wasn't surprised to find it deserted. Nervously, she sat at one of the tables, her head filled with images of Ed which morphed into images of her mother, she remembered back to the street shooting, how her mother had died right in front of her. She could think that the same thing was going to happen to Derren, to her father.
She jumped up as she heard footsteps approaching but she knew her father's footsteps, and she knew these were not his. Looking around desperately she saw only one thing she could use as a weapon, a tray. She grabbed it and scrambled up onto a chair behind the door, ready for anyone who might come through. As it opened she jumped down and was met with a man in black, quickly she brought down the tray onto his head and combining this with some of the skills Derren had taught her, she knocked the man unconscious on the floor. She stood there for a couple of moments, breathing heavily, not really believing she'd just done that. But this confirmed it for her, if they caught Derren, they would kill him. But if they had no chance of getting her, they might let him be…
She looked down at the man and noticed a heavy duty gun holstered to his belt. She knelt down and picked it up, sure enough it was real. She checked inside and found it full of bullets. Not one shot had been fired, checking them over she confirmed they were real. Holding the gun in her left hand she pulled out her phone with her right and quickly dialled her father's number.
Derren was about half way to the canteen when he heard his phone ring; he pulled it out and looked at it, stopping in his tracks. He answered.
'Daddy. Don't talk just listen? I'm here, in the canteen. But I've thought, even if you get here without being killed, we won't be able to get out, but it's me they want, so if they can't have me they'll let you go free. So, just trust me, because I realise now that this is how I can get back to mum. And my real dad. I love you daddy, thank you so much, for everything you've ever done for Me.' she dropped the phone and it smashed on the floor.
Derren stared at his own phone for a second, shocked beyond words before it all clicked into place in his mind. Maddie was going to re-create her mother's death, with herself.