Hey, and welcome to the fic :) I've been writing this for a while now, and finally decided to publish the first chapter - thanks to the lovely reviews on the last fic! It really warms my heart to see you guys like my writing, and I hope you like this too!

Warning: Swearing, violence

"You do understand that this is a deniable operation, don't you?" Donovan pointed out. "You get caught, you are to hold your cover no matter what. We won't be able to help you if things turn sour. When you go in, it's all up to you."

Wyatt nodded his head; he had figured as much. Infiltrating a Syrian supermax prison and escaping with a highly political convict meant nobody could ever know it was the British government who helped the man escape. This particular detainee - Paul Dechart was his name - had valuable information about their current case, and they had to get him out, no matter the cost.

The problem had arised when they'd contacted someone in power in Syria. They had denied Dechart had ever even visited their country even if the proof of his current location was clear. That meant that the UK government couldn't go through official channels, and that meant contacting their own little special unit, Section 20. They were the best suited for such an operation; since nobody knew they existed, denying the operation would be easy.

"Say it", Donovan pressed. "I need to know for sure you know what you're up to."

"If things go bad and all hell breaks loose, I'm on my own. I got it", Wyatt said. He'd done things like these countless of times before; he knew exactly what he was walking in to.


Wyatt sighed, crossing his arms. "And I don't break my cover or call for help. Seriously, Donovan, I got this. Not my first rodeo."

"Can't be too sure", Donovan said, nodding approvingly. "Good luck. The others know their parts, now go rescue our prisoner."


The Syrian landscape was a lot like Wyatt had expected it to be. As he watched the scenery pass through the barred window of the secure prison bus, he couldn't help but take it all in. He couldn't be sure when he'd breathe fresh air outside of prison again because of so many variables. He'd been given as non-threatening cover as possible to keep him out of the sight of several major gang members residing in the prison, but it was a Syrian supermax and no ordinary bank robber got an invitation.

His cover, Jonathan Miller, was an american arms dealer whose black market heavy duty weaponry had gotten hundreds of civilians, soldiers, and jihadists killed. Miller had no particular viewpoint but sold his goods to whoever offered the most cash, making him an enemy of everyone but not the biggest one to any. It was as safe a cover as they could manage in a situation like that.

Wyatt shifted his gaze from the window to the front of the bus. He was sitting in the back with his hands handcuffed together in front of his body and a long double chain expanding from the middle of the cuffs to both of his ankles. It limited his movements a lot, but he knew that as soon as he'd been checked in the cuffs would come off and the real struggle would begin.

The two armed-to-teeth syrian soldiers stood at the front of the bus. Behind them was a dark gray bulletproof glass wall leading to the cabin where another soldier sat driving, accompanied by a fourth soldier of the same gear. Three other inmates sat in the bus, all as far from each other as they possibly could, each staring somewhere in the distance in an absolute silence.

As the bus finally pulled in front of the prison and the inmates were one by one escorted out of the vehicle, Wyatt suffocated a gasp. The thick walls surrounding the prison were easily nineteen feet tall and ten wide, build with solid concrete, but even that wasn't the worst part. The prison itself was nothing Wyatt had expected as it rose high into the sky. It was at least three stories tall and wider than any prison he'd ever seen. It had been untouched by any bombs or drones and every wall stood solid and strong. All windows were thick and barred, and everywhere Wyatt looked he could see guards with three regular guns and one stun gun hanging on their uniforms somewhere.

"You, follow me", one of the soldiers from the bus barked at Wyatt, not waiting him to reply before grabbing him by the arm and roughly yanking him along towards the entrance to the prison.

"If I knew I'd get such special treatment, I would've come a lot sooner", Wyatt said and grinned sheepishly at the soldier dragging him at a pace slightly too fast for his restricted movement. "You offer any spa treatments as well? My shoulders could really use someone's magic touch."

The soldier paid no attention to Wyatt, who decided to keep quiet. Maybe pissing off the guards before even stepping inside the actual prison wasn't the best possible choice if he wanted to live through it.

They stepped through the guarded front doors and into a brightly lit hallway with doors on either side. Wyatt paid attention to everything he could see; every door worked with a magnetic key, probably some sort of card. There were surveillance cameras pointed at the entrance as well as so that the whole corridor was visible from the monitors somewhere. They really didn't want their convicts escaping.

They took the last door on the right and stepped into a room that resembled some sort of extra-paranoid hospital's check-in area. There was a counter on one wall with a thick glass that had just a tiny hole for speaking on it, and four guards by Wyatt's quick count, excluding the one behind the counter. There was a barred door leading further into the prison, and two of the guards were standing on front of it with their hands behind their backs and a straight posture.

As they stopped by the counter, the soldier let go of Wyatt's arm. "Wait right there", he said before turning to the guard behind the glass. Whatever language they spoke in, Wyatt couldn't understand a word. Except, of course, Jonathan Miller.

So far, so good.

The guard escorting Wyatt turned back to Wyatt, grabbing him by the arm again. "Let's go", he said, and started walking.

They passed several more guards on their way through the prison and finally stopped in a smaller room that had no windows and no doors except the one they came through. It was empty too, with just a plain white table in the middle.

The soldier let go of Wyatt, pushing him deeper into the room, towards the table. "Take off your clothes and wait here. Someone will bring you new ones and take you to your cell."

Wyatt huffed. "Yeah, sure, smart guy. Gonna be a little hard with these on, you know", he said, lifting up his hands only to have them yanked against the chain connecting to his ankles. He couldn't lift them past his chest.

The guard only snorted. "Figure it out, smart guy", he said before turning around and leaving the room.

As the door clicked shut and locked behind the soldier, Wyatt slumped against the table and sighed. He couldn't pretend he wasn't scared, because he sure as hell was. He was here on his own with the nearest backup almost twenty miles away, and no way to contact them.

Jensen had somehow managed to hack the prison system and add Mac as one of their employees, but he wouldn't start working there until two days later. Novin and Reynolds had stayed in the city, arranging things and monitoring Wyatt's wellbeing through the countless video cameras Jensen had also hacked.

Lifting his gaze up to the roof, Wyatt noticed a round, black camera. Forcing a grin on his lips as he stared at the camera he couldn't stop thinking how Jensen - and to be honest, probably Novin as well - was now staring at him and about to see him get undressed. If he was going to be stared at while he clumsily attempted to undress himself, he might as well make a whole show out of it. It wasn't like he was ashamed of his body or to be seen naked by other guys - he was a soldier, and that meant spending a lot of time around other guys. He'd seen way more men naked in his life than he'd seen women. It was natural, who cared?

He grabbed his shirt by the hem and did his best to pull it off, but couldn't, not without bending himself in directions he'd never bent so much to before, and cracking every bone in his back and shoulders by the sound of it. But in the end the shirt came off, or, almost anyways. It hung down on his wrists, as far as he could get it with the cuffs on.

The door to the room beeped and it was then swung open. Two guards stepped in, both in identical outfits and gear, and approached Wyatt in a way that made him slightly nervous. These guys wouldn't mess around, and Wyatt thought it best to stay on their good side for as long as he could.

"Hey guys, a bit of a problem here with the cuffs", Wyatt said as the guards closed in on him. "Maybe you could—"

Not letting Wyatt finish his sentence, another one of the guards grabbed Wyatt by the shoulder as well as throat, pushing him back first into the nearest wall as Wyatt let out a surprised grunt.

The other guard dug into his pocket, pulling out a key to the cuffs while the other kept Wyatt tight against the wall.

"So that's how it's gonna be in here", Wyatt said with a grin as the other guard went to unlock his cuffs. "A bit rough for my taste, but hey, everyone's got their thing. I just really prefer to be on the other side of this hold, you know?"

"Be quiet", the guard keeping Wyatt by the throat hissed with a heavy accent. "You speak only when you're spoken to. Yes or no, you understand?"

Wyatt nodded. No reason to piss these guys off if he ever wanted to be in good enough shape to escape with Dechart. "Sure. I understand."

The shirt fell from his hands as the cuffs came off, and in no time Wyatt had changed into his new clothes - white long sleeved shirt that fit him pretty well, actually, and a loose, dark grey t-shirt with matching loose pants. It was a dull, ugly outfit that reminded him that he was now an inmate, nothing more and nothing less. He was now Jonathan Miller until he reached freedom again.


Because Jonathan Miller was deemed a non-dangerous convict, he had been granted the absolute opposite of a luxury; a shared cell. His new cell mate was a syrian man in his sixties, someone Wyatt didn't recognize.

At first he was bummed; he knew that they kept Dechart in cell block A, and he'd been placed in C. That meant the two of them had no shared outdoor times, and approaching Dechart on the yard had been Wyatt's plan. As he climbed on his top bunk and relaxed on the shitty piece of worn mattress that would now be his bed for the upcoming days, he had an idea.

Work shifts. He wasn't sure how they worked in a supermax, or if there even were work shifts in a prison such like this, but his new cellmate looked like he'd been there a while. If anyone knew, it was him.

Wyatt knew he had to do this carefully; he had no Mac to back him up, not yet, and this old guy could've been a master assassin or some black ops team leader for all he knew. Whoever he was, he'd done something bad enough to get himself in this particular jail.

Thankfully, though, Wyatt didn't have to initiate anything.

"Who are you?" came a raspy voice from beneath Wyatt. The old man's accent was thick and broken, but very much understandable.

"Name's Jonathan Miller", Wyatt replied. He stared at the cracked ceiling as he spoke. "You?"

The old man scoffed and coughed. "Akram."

"What's an old man like you doing here, Akram?" Wyatt asked, doing his best to sound bored out of his mind. He was just talking because he wanted something to do, definitely not because he was a soldier executing a secret mission to free a prisoner from a syrian supermax.

"What's it to you?" Akram asked.

"Fair enough", Wyatt replied with a grin he didn't let show in his voice. This guy seemed great so far. "Just killing time here, man."

"Killed a soldier."

"Oh. Self defense?"

"He came to rape my wife and recruit my children. What do you think, mister Miller?"

Wyatt snorted. "Yeah. I think you did what you had to. Nothing bad in defending your family, if you ask me."

"I didn't ask you", Akram replied dryly. The bedsheets in the bunk below Wyatt shuffled as Akram stood up, staring at Wyatt as he leaned his elbows against the edge of his bedframe. "Why is an american asshole here, hm? You haven't gotten enough of destroying my home?"

Wyatt furrowed his brows as he sat up. Yeah, he had to be careful. "I'm not military, if that's what you're asking", he said.

"It wasn't", Akram said, his dark brown eyes piercing Wyatt's own as he stared at the american. "Why are you here, mister Miller?"

"Made some bad lfie decisions. Sold some guns. The usual", Wyatt said and shrugged. "I'm not proud of it, but you gotta do what you gotta do-"

"For money?" Akram interrupted. "You americans, so greedy. All of you. Killing people for money, you're no better than the ones you fight."

"...To survive", Wyatt finished his sentence with a sigh. "Listen, I've made mistakes, and I'm paying for them now. I've never killed anyone in my life, though."

"Your guns have", Akram pointed out, and Wyatt nodded.

"Sure, but-"

"No buts. You're a killer, mister Miller, just as bad as the ones shooting the guns are."

Wyatt eyed Akram. "You killed someone too, didn't you?"

"Self defense. It's different", Akram said, taking a step back and crossing his arms over his chest. "We will see what kind of man you are. Good or bad."

As Akram sat down on his own bunk again, Wyatt drew in a deep breath and sighed. Asking Akram for help could be a little more difficult than he'd anticipated, but he would make it work. He had to, or there would be no Dechart, and there would be no breaking out without him.

Lying back down, Wyatt decided to give Akram some time - he had three days before Mac showed up, and until then he was literally on his own. He had three days to prove he was a good man, and maybe then Akram could be of some help. It was a big 'maybe', but it was all Wyatt had.


It didn't take long for Wyatt to memorise the schedules of the prison. Breakfast came at 7, a plate full of dry rice and some vegetables. Then at 8 the inmates were escorted to a public area, although it was far from relaxed. The prisoners were allowed to talk with each other in a bigger room, but to each prisoner there were two guards with their guns loaded with lethal as well as beanbag rounds, ready to take out anyone who as much as looked at another inmate with a weird look on their face. There was strictly no touching, and the atmosphere was grim.

At 10 the prisoners were taken back to their cells, and at noon came lunch, which consisted of some more dry rice. They sat in their cells reading and chatting until five thirty in the day, when they got their dinner - more dry rice, but also some meat - and were then allowed outside on the yard for two hours before being taken back to their cells for the night.

The yard was the highlight of every prisoner's day. It was well guarded, but less so than the public room inside the prison. Two high towers rose on both left and right sides of the wide yard, with soldiers equipped with sniper rifles in both. There were also six guards on the ground, but they spent their time chatting in a corner and simply glancing at the yard every now and then. Every prisoner knew that causing trouble on the yard meant not getting there for weeks as a punishment and very few wanted to risk it, as it was the only time of the day they could smoke their cigarettes, work out, and just simply enjoy the fresh air.

Wyatt had also learned two other things.

One, the guards loved nothing more than tossing the inmates into solitary. It meant less inmates to keep an eye on, so less work for them. It seemed like the tiniest infraction landed you in solitary for days on end, and that kept everyone on their toes.

And two, there was, indeed, work for inmates available, but those jobs were reserved for only the most well behaved inmates. Only a handful of inmates actually got to work, and Wyatt had no idea if Dechart was one of them.

It was good and bad news at the same time. Bad, because finding out whether Dechart was assigned a job would be tough, but good because Wyatt already had a plan. All he needed to do was get on his dear cellmate Akram's good side and he would hopefully be set.

The only problem was getting on Akram's good side. The old man was stubborn as hell, and while Wyatt truly appreciated his cold, brutal honesty, it made his job a lot harder. The more he chatted with Akram, the clearer it became that Akram valued one thing and one thing only; family. Nothing else mattered as much to him as his family, and he'd risked his own life and lost his freedom to protect it. Family was the way to Akram's heart, Wyatt was sure of it, but actually doing it wasn't as simple.

Wyatt couldn't blow his cover, and Jonathan Miller had no living family, so lying about selling guns to aid his own family wasn't an option. He couldn't risk telling two different stories to different people. So the only thing he could think about was not as pleasant as a simple lie, but it was the only thing that he thought would be enough.

He approached the yard in a line of a dozen other inmates, all handcuffed and under the watchful eye of a handful of armed guards. Every inmate stopped at the door to get their handcuffs removed and one by one they walked out on the yard.

The sun shone down from the cloudless, bright sky, and as Wyatt stepped out of the cool prison he felt the hot, moist air hit his face like a steamed brick.

Inmates were scattered around the yard already; Wyatt had been one of the last to get pulled out of their cells. He took a quick look around, trying to find someone he knew was residing in the same prison. He just had no idea whether or not the guy was in the same block as him. For the last two days he'd kept his head low and just observed, trying to find a way to accomplish his mission.

From the corner of his eye he saw a familiar face - not the one he was looking for, but a reassuring one. Mac had started his shift and apparently he had been assigned to watch the yard during cell block C's outside-time.

Approaching the center of the yard, Wyatt kept looking around as discreetly as possible. Even though block C was for the non-dangerous inmates, that didn't mean the men there were boy scouts; no, they were still murderers, rapists, terrorists, and drug kingpins. If Wyatt met the stare of the wrong guy, he and his whole crew would be there to see that it never happened again.


Wyatt turned around at the sound of his fake name. A guard was approaching him at a fast pace, leaping almost three feet in one step. He had a stern look on his face and his hand on a gun, and Wyatt had to keep himself from taking an alarmed step back.

"What is it?" Wyatt asked as the guard stopped in front of him. "Am I in trouble?"

"No. You have a mandatory meeting with the warden after the break", the guard explained. "All newbies go."

"And you're telling me this now, because…?"

The guard looked at Wyatt with an annoyed look. "Because I was told to inform you. Is that a problem, convict?"

Wyatt shook his head. This guy was aggressive. "No, sir. Just wondering. Sorry."

This seemed to calm the guard a little and he nodded. "Good. Keep that up, and you may get out of here with all your bones intact. I hear that some guards here don't take too kindly to annoying americans."

It was a threat, clear and loud, and Wyatt nodded. He had no interest in getting beaten up now - at least by this guard. "Noted. Again, I apologise."

The guard nodded, apparently now as satisfied as he could get, and turned around to leave. Wyatt did the same, drawing in a deep breath. He couldn't explain it, but he had a bad feeling; he hadn't seen any of the other newbies go see the warden, so either he was the first or, more likely, things weren't as they seemed.

He had no time to dwell on it, though. He had a man to find, and if he was on that yard, Wyatt would find him. It was his dumb plan to get Akram to trust him, but it was a plan, and he was pretty sure it would work.

Wyatt finally spotted the guy doing push-ups at the far end of the yard, at the very bottom of one of the watch towers. He was a big, muscular guy, who reminded Wyatt a lot about a certain ex-black ops soldier gone rogue he'd met some months ago, and maybe for that exact reason Wyatt stopped, hesitating. He'd gotten his ass handed to him back then. Was he really sure about this? Maybe he'd taken a risk too big for him to handle on his own.

Fuck that, Wyatt thought. He had come here to accomplish a mission and he was going to finish it, no matter what it took. This was his first real operation after getting back to work, and he had to prove himself - not just to Donovan and his team, but to himself, that he could still do this. That all that torture he'd gone through hadn't broken him, that all those nightmares he still saw on a weekly basis were nothing more than silly bad dreams.

He took in a deep breath and readied himself. It was show time.

The thing about the yard rule was that it was always the guy who threw the first punch that got banned from the yard. As far as the guards were concerned, calling someone a little bitch wasn't a good enough reason to start throwing punches, so it was always the one who started the actual fight that got in trouble, whether they won the fight or not. It was kind of stupid, if you asked Wyatt, but it worked in his favor so he wasn't complaining.

"Tarek Abboud?" Wyatt asked, his voice loud. "Hey, I'm talking to you, asshole."

Tarek Abboud, a thirty-something years old syrian man who brutally murdered his whole family, including all five of his young children and his wife, before opening fire on the cops arriving on the scene, was a peculiar case. He wasn't a smart man, but what he lacked in intelligence he made up in muscle and brute force.

Wyatt knew him because as they were looking up information about the prison, Jensen had stumbled upon a full list of prisoners. They'd taken a closer look into certain, well known prisoners, and Abboud had been one of them. Plus, Abboud had no connections to anyone in the prison; he was a loner, which meant no friends to rush to his aid.

And the best part was that Abboud had shot at the cops but the cops had fired back, shooting him in the knee; by Wyatt's count, it should limit his movements by a ton.

His stupid plan was to get Abboud to piss off, take the first punch and then win the fight. He would get Akram's respect and Abboud would be banned from the yard for weeks. It was perfect.

Abboud stopped mid-push and looked at Wyatt with furrowed brows. "Leave."

"Not before I say a few things", Wyatt said. He had no trouble keeping his voice steady even though his heart was racing in his chest. "First of all, how much of a giant fucking douche do you gotta be to go and shoot your own kids? I mean, really? You go all bang-bang and expect nothing to happen? I heard you were dumb, but come on, that's fucking idiotic even by your standards."

The frown on Abboud's face fell darker as he pushed himself up - and limped. Good.

"You really are something, I gotta give you that", Wyatt continued. He needed to push Abboud, really piss him off. "Did all your brains just vaporise when you were a kid? Or is it because your parents did something to you? I mean, that would explain why you hated your own family so much that you just decided to-"

The punch wasn't unexpected but it definitely was sudden. Wyatt had no time to flinch away before the fist already collided with his cheek, sending his head and then whole body to the side as he crashed to the ground with a surprised, pained yelp.

Abboud didn't hide the fact that he was absolutely fuming. His face turned red as he screamed something in arabic and lunged at the fallen Wyatt, sending his foot flying towards his side. But Wyatt was faster and rolled out of the way, shooting up as he did.

Wyatt threw himself at Abboud, bringing him down to the ground. He crashed on top of the arab, but wasted no time kicking himself up to his knees and bringing his elbow down on his face.

Blood spurted from Abboud's nose as he shrieked.

Wyatt readied himself to punch again - where the hell are the guards - when Abboud suddenly threw his arms up and grabbed Wyatt by the shoulders while simultaneously sitting up himself. He slammed his forehead into Wyatt's nose and then released the man, tossing him to the ground next to him, and swung himself on top.

Only managing to throw his arms out in front of his face before the first blow landed, Wyatt tasted blood in his mouth. Despite his arms blocking Abboud's first blow, the second punch landed a few inches below and hit Wyatt on his temple.

Another punch, to the side this time. Wyatt could swear he heard something crack.


A punch, directly on the left cheek.

-the fuck-

Another one on the ribs, and this time Wyatt couldn't hold back a cry as a sharp pain ran through the side of his body.

-are the-

Another punch, right on the same spot. Wyatt gasped for air as he shot his arms up to push Abboud off of him.

-fucking guards?

Before another punch could land, Wyatt grabbed Abboud by the arm and twisted it, slipping his other leg free from underneath Abboud's weight and using it to push him off. He felt blood dripple down his cheek, probably from his nose, as he threw himself up and onto Abboud. He lifted his fist up, ready to hit-

There was a loud bang, but Wyatt couldn't even register it before the pain already surprised him. He gasped for air as the beanbag round slammed into his chest and he fell back with a short scream. His back hit the dirt as he gasped for air again but felt like he couldn't - the pain was hot and paralyzing, like he'd been actually shot, and for a moment he thought he'd pass out.

Abboud got up to his knees, ready to attack the fallen american again, when another bang echoed out and he too fell to the ground with a loud scream, holding his shoulder in what looked like nothing short of pure agony.

As Wyatt finally got a hold of himself and drew in a shaky breath, he looked up at the tower that was directly in his line of sight. The guard in the tower had shot them both with beanbag rounds to end the fight.

All the guards on the yard rushed to the injured inmates as every other inmate on the yard dropped to their stomachs and placed their hands on their heads.

Four of the guards rushed to Abboud while the two others came to Wyatt, and as Wyatt took a look at the two faces standing above him, he couldn't help a smirk. Mac.

"Hey, guys", Wyatt said and grinned. He was pretty sure his teeth were red from blood, since he could taste it in his mouth, but didn't care. "Great timing, really."

"Shut the fuck up, inmate", Mac spat, crouching down and grabbing Wyatt by the arm. He helped Wyatt up, a bit too rough maybe, but they had to keep up the act.

Wyatt couldn't help a wince as his ribs protested against the sudden movement. He knew he was just sore and that nothing had broken, because he knew what broken ribs felt like and this wasn't quite as painful, but it wasn't far off, either.

Mac held Wyatt in place as the other guard slammed some cuffs over his wrists. "I can take it from here", Mac said as the guard finished. "I'll take him to the warden. He had an appointment, right?"

The guard looked confused for a second but then seemed to realise something, because he nodded and smiled. "Yes, the warden. He's all yours."

"Thanks, pal", Mac said before turning back to Wyatt. "You heard us. Let's go."

"Whatever you say", Wyatt replied with a deep exhale. The beanbag round still hurt, and he was sure it was gonna bruise like a motherfucker, but he was just happy it hadn't been a real bullet.

They started making their way through the yard, Mac dragging Wyatt along a bit roughly to really sell his case. He looked weird in his outfit, but Wyatt was sure that to Mac he looked even weirder.

Stepping in to the prison, Mac guided him through the corridors in absolute silence. There were guards everywhere so they had to keep their covers up until they reached someplace safe. Wyatt just hoped Mac had found a place actually safe in such a short amount of time - he'd been working there for five hours, max.

Finally they reached a creepy, dark stairwell leading down to an underground floor. Wyatt had never been so far in the prison before, and truth be told, he had no idea where they were. Mac seemed to know his way around, though, so it didn't really even matter.

They descended the stairs and came to a longer hallway obviously not designed for prisoners. The concrete was rough and the hallway was partially blocked with all kinds of boxes, tables, and other things. There were a few doors, and finally they took a right.

"I don't think this is the warden's office", Wyatt commented as he stepped into the room. It was small, dark and gross, just generally a very unpleasant place straight out of a clichéd horror movie.

Mac snorted. "Aren't you a smart one."

They stepped in and Mac closed the door, locking it behind them, and then switched on the little lamp. It illuminated the room just enough for Wyatt to notice the floor was covered in dried blood, and…

"Is that a human tooth?" he asked, nodding at the white thing in the middle of the room. "Shit. Where'd you take me?"

"Apparently they use this place to torture the ones they don't like", Mac explained, digging into his pocket and pulling out a key for the cuffs. "I only had to say one Jonathan Miller was responsible for killing my mother, and I already had three of the guys explaining to me all about this place."

"Okay, that's not at all disturbing."

Mac unlocked the cuffs and took them for himself, eyeing Wyatt with furrowed brows. "You out of your fucking mind?" he asked, crossing his arms in front of his chest. "Tell me you had a plan out there and didn't just get beaten to high hell because you were bored."

"No", Wyatt said, and couldn't help a little chuckle. The laugh made his ribs send out a flare of pain and he winched slightly, placing a hand on his aching side. "Definitely not. Sounds stupid, but I need to gain the trust of my cell mate. He's the only one who can help me with something."

"With what?" Mac asked. "I'm here too, remember?"

"He knows all the inmates. Apparently he's been here quite some time", Wyatt explained. "I need to know if Dechart is on a work detail and if so, how to get in it myself. He's in a different block than I am. I won't meet him anywhere else."

Mac looked at Wyatt with disbelief on his face. "And you couldn't have waited to ask me first? I have the access to all the files in here, you know that, right?"

Now that Mac mentioned it, Wyatt realised he was right. Maybe he should have consulted Mac first, but his plan wasn't still all for nothing. "It's not just that. He's been here the longest, so he's gonna know more than just what you can see in the files. I think he could be a good ally."

"Fair enough", Mac said and scoffed, letting his arms fall to the sides. "I hope you know what you're doing. I won't be able to help you much in here without risking our covers."

"Yeah, I know", Wyatt replied. He'd known that from the beginning, and he had still accepted the offer. The job always came first.

Mac nodded. "So Paul Dechart is in cell block A, right? We need to know if he's on a work detail, and if he is, get you in there. And if he isn't?"

Wyatt shrugged. "Guess we'll figure it out when the time comes. Right now let's focus on the work detail. Can you look into it and if it happens he's there, add me in the same shift?"

"I'll see what I can do", Mac said. "You just focus on not getting killed, a'ight? I'm not carrying you out in a body bag, Wyatt."

With a grin, Wyatt nodded again. "I'll do my best. If nothing else, I'm-"

The sound of the door getting unlocked stopped Wyatt dead in his tracks. Shit. Someone was coming in, and that couldn't be anything good.

Mac acted fast, glancing at the door before turning to Wyatt. "I'm sorry", he muttered, giving Wyatt no time to prepare before curling his hand in a fist and punching Wyatt in the cheek.

Wyatt met the floor with a grunt just as the door opened and two of the guards from the yard stepped in with curious looks on their faces.

Mac turned to look at them, acting surprised. "What are you doing here?"

"Wanted to see you", the other guard said with a grin as he crossed his arms. "We want to know what the new guy is like."

"That means you", the other guard said, eyeing Mac. "Go on."

Wyatt furrowed his brows as he stared at Mac. This was bad, really bad. He knew Mac would pull his punches, take it a little easier, but these guards thought Wyatt had killed Mac's mother. If Mac got too soft, they would get suspicious, and that could ruin everything.

The job always came first, Wyatt reminded himself as he pulled himself back to his feet. He could do this. He had to.

Mac forced a grin on his face as he turned back to Wyatt. There was regret and fear in his eyes, too, something he didn't show to the guards. It was his silent way of saying sorry for what was about to come.

"You piece of shit!" Mac yelled, rushing a step forward to Wyatt, grabbed him by the hair and the shoulder, throwing him against the wall, the side of his head colliding with the rough concrete first.

The impact was enough to make Wyatt grunt and as Mac let go, he crashed to the floor. His head spun and his vision darkened as he gasped for air, surprised and in pain. Mac gave him no time to prepare. With one fast kick he'd sent his foot crashing into Wyatt's already hurt ribs.

Wyatt gasped for air as the pain in his side intensified and then exploded, sending sharp shoots of pain up and down his torso. And before he could fully even comprehend the first kick, came another one, this time to the head - and unconsciousness engulfed him.