This chapter gets a little darker, obviously, because Sylar has Pam. Look forward to a trip back to Scranton, a seriously pissed off Jim, and that crazy kid Sylar. Thanks for the reviews, I appreciate it. I know this is a hard to swallow story and I really love you all for even giving it a chance. I know I probably wouldn't. So thanks.
"Regretting your decision yet?" He tightened the bonds on her wrists behind her back and she winced.
"Are these really necessary? I came to you. Remember?"
Sylar stood up, moving around so he was in front of her. He moved a chair over with a flick of his wrist and sat down, folding his hands neatly in his lap. "One isn't naturally inclined to remain seated and still during physical pain."
Pam paled slightly, moving her wrists back and forth against the tight bonds. "You are seriously going to do that? You are going to torture me, even though I came to you willingly?"
Sylar quirked an eyebrow. "Is that a serious question? Pam, I'm evil, remember? And anyway-" He stood op and went to a far corner of the room, tapping his hand lightly on the wall while looking out the window on the busy Manhattan streets below them.
"I have a purpose for you, besides what you think."
Pam knit her eyebrows in confusion. "What is that?"
Sylar turned and reclaimed his seat across from her, leaning forward on his elbows.
"Bait. As in, you are. As soon as the justice league finds out I have you, all will come running to the rescue. It will make my job infinitely easier."
Pam felt her eyes fill with moisture. "But you said-" She swallowed heavily. "We have a deal."
"No, you assumed we had a deal when you willingly gave yourself up. I don't remember ever agreeing to terms Ms. Beesly."
Pam struggled violently in her bonds. Sylar reached forward and stilled her with his hands, his eyes darkening. "You can fight all you want, but you aren't going to get out of here. When they come, which make no doubt they will, I'm going to make you watch as I kill. Every. Single. One."
She felt the hot angry tears running down her cheeks. Sylar considered her for a moment before reaching forward and tucking a piece of stray hair behind her ear. She winced at his touch and tried to lean away.
"While we wait, I think I have other-" He gripped her face forcefully with one hand and her eyes snapped open. "Uses for you."
Jim shuffled into the kitchen, changed back into his clothes from yesterday, biting back a huge yawn. He covered his mouth with a fist and slid into the barstool Peter had vacated moments ago, and looked at Claire with tired eyes.
"Good morning." She offered with a smile.
He nodded at her and reached for an empty coffee cop, tilting his head at her in question.
"Of course. Help yourself." He let out a grateful sigh and poured himself a cup.
"Milk and sugar are-"
He ignored her, taking a swig of the black coffee. Claire stopped her sentence abruptly, giving him a curious glance.
"Are you alright?"
Jim looked up from the swirling black liquid and up at the wide blue eyes. He gave her a terse smile. "Fine." His voice cracked, betraying his emotions.
Claire clasped and unclasped her hands. She never was good with making small talk with strangers, ironic considering she was a cheerleader. Weren't they supposed to be peppy or happy all the time? She wished Peter would just get back down here.
"So you and Pam," Claire began. That was one thing she knew they could talk about. Nice neutral territory. "How long have you two been together?"
Jim looked up quickly, almost knocking over his coffee in the process. "We aren't, uh, me and Pam-" A dark look crossed his face as he looked back down, twisting his fingers around the cup's handle. "We aren't together."
Claire felt her cheeks redden. "Oh, I just thought that with everything-" She let her sentence die off.
Jim took another quiet sip of his coffee. "No, Pam has made it clear that isn't what she wants. Repeatedly."
Claire's forehead knit in confusion as she thought back to earlier in the morning and the way in which they embraced each other. They looked so completely, totally enamored with each other. How could she possibly misinterpret that?
She watched as Jim ran a hand through his hair and closed his eyes, letting out a deep sigh. She could see a slight shake in his fingers, a hoarseness in his voice. She knew that look, that pain.
Her eyes softened. "Listen, Jim. I know I'm only seventeen but I underst-"
She was cut off with Peter busting in through the kitchen doors, much like she had done earlier. Both Jim and Claire turned abruptly in their seats and regarded him with curious glances.
"Pam is gone." He said, a slight tremor in his voice.
Jim stood up, shoving his hands in his pockets, his face contorting. Claire smiled slightly.
"Hilarious Peter, but I really don't think that's-"
"No, I'm serious." He abruptly cut her off. He turned his attention towards Jim. "How long ago did she leave your room?"
Jim looked slightly surprised that Peter knew him and Pam had slept together but answered all the same. "Twenty minutes, thirty?" His voice was gravelly.
Peter grabbed his coat off the counter and turned to go out the door but Claire stood up, stopping him.
"Peter, what's going on?"
Peter looked above her head to Jim who was watching the pair closely. Peter opened and closed his mouth several times. He finally looked at Jim.
"I was just upstairs and I saw that you had left your room and I heard you down here with Claire but I didn't hear Pam, so I checked the room we had given her last night. I knocked but there was no answer. When I opened it, there were burn marks on the floor and the window was open."
Jim blinked his eyes several times, slowly. "What?"
"I'm assuming Pam got out the window."
"But, why would Pam le-" Jim stopped abruptly, the color washing from his face.
Claire noticed the abrupt change in Jim's facial features. "What?" She asked quietly, feeling her rapid heartbeat in her chest. They couldn't lose another. It was happening too fast, all of this.
Jim scratched at the back of his neck. "This morning, Pam was saying how it was never going to stop, us being hunted. And how people would use our relationship as a vulnerability. I think-"
"You think she would willingly give herself up to save you." Peter completed Jim's statement.
Jim nodded dumbly, another wave of emotion passing over his face. Claire could clearly see his hands shaking this time. She looked at Peter and saw their breath mingling in the air in front of them. Peter quirked an eyebrow and shivered slightly as the room dropped in temperature.
Jim felt like he should be exploding or screaming or something. He shouldn't have let her out of sight. He should have followed her, he knew what she was saying wasn't real. He knew it and still he believed it. He closed his eyes tightly and clenched his hands. He couldn't lose her. He couldn't just-
"How do we find her?" He asked in a shaking voice.
Peter shook his head, his eyes sad as Claire let out another shiver next to him. Peter handed her his coat without even looking at her. She pulled it on gratefully. "We have been trying to locate Sylar for months. We haven't found anything. He moves too fast."
Jim blinked his eyes open, the fear replaced with an angry determination, his green eyes glinting in the sunlight pooling in from the windows. "Dwight."
"What?" Claire asked as Jim swept in between her and Peter. She gave Peter a wary look. He shook his head slightly and followed Jim out to the foyer.
"Dwight will know where he is." Jim answered as he shrugged on his jacket. "I'm going to Scranton."
"We are going with you." Peter added. When Jim moved to open his mouth Claire shook her head and picked up her bag from the floor.
"There is no argument Jim. We know who we are dealing with. You, unfortunately, do not. You can't get her back without us."
Jim stopped for a moment, looking at Claire, his eyes wide, the anger suddenly gone. His face was open with hopeful vulnerability. "Do you think we are going to get her back?"
She didn't dare look at Peter, trying to meet her gaze behind Jim's lanky frame. She didn't need to remember that when Sylar set his mind on something, there was no stopping him.
She smiled softly at Jim. "Yeah, we are going to get her back."
The ride to Scranton was in complete silence. Peter was driving after him and Jim switched on the side of a bridge outside of Manhattan. Jim's hands were shaking so bad he could barely steer straight.
Jim sat in the passenger seat, his face blank and staring out the front windshield. He had made several attempts to put on the radio, but every time music would flood through the car he would abruptly smack his hand over the button and turn it off. Claire could see his knees jittering up and down from the back seat.
"How dangerous is this Dwight? I only got a glimpse of him in Mohinder's apartment."
Jim blinked and looked over at Peter, as if he had forgotten he was in the car with him still. "Oh," Jim started, turning his head and looking back out the window. "He isn't dangerous. Or at least I thought he wasn't. Turn here."
The car had barely stopped before Jim unfolded his body from the passenger seat and started striding towards the buildings glass doors. Peter hastily turned off the car and followed, Claire coming up in a light jog behind them.
Claire looked up at Jim's face in the elevator, his eyes dark and jaw tense. She could see he wasn't a man who usually was overcome with anger, his face didn't show it. The emotion looked foreign on his face, the creases in his forehead new.
The elevator doors opened with a small ding and Jim strode out abruptly again, disappearing around a corner. Peter and Claire jogged to follow again and saw Jim just as he disappeared behind a white door.
When they entered the office, Jim was two steps away from Dwight, standing stock-still. Dwight hadn't even noticed Jim looking at him until Peter and Claire spilled into the office.
"What? Who are you? Why are you in this of-" He stopped when he saw Jim looking at him.
Jim said nothing. He just looked at Dwight, his eyes dark. "Where is she?"
Dwight tilted his chin up, indignant. "Who?"
Jim closed the distance that separated the pair of them and grabbed Dwight's arm, pulling him towards the break room.
Dwight let out a sound of protest. "Hey! This is a new shirt."
"I'm sure Wal-Mart carries more in your size, Dwight." Jim muttered as he threw Dwight in ahead of him and slammed the door behind them with a resounding thud.
"Dude," Peter and Claire turned and looked at a large man with a balding head standing behind his desk, looking at the closed door. "Jim was pissed."
A door opened to Claire's immediate left and Michael strode out. "What's all the noise? Can anyone just-"
He stopped abruptly when he saw Claire, looking her up and down swiftly.
"Hey!" He said, a smile on his face. "It isn't my birthday, who got me the strip- gram? You guys are too great."
He looked at Claire expectantly, his hands clasped happily in front of him. Claire's eyes grew wide and she turned to look at Peter who was looking at Michael with his mouth open. Michael looked over at Peter.
"Sorry man, but I'm not your type. Why don't you try Oscar over there?"
Peter shut his mouth and swallowed, taking Claire by the elbow and pulling her backwards, towards reception.
Jim flung Dwight from his grip when the door shut and Dwight stumbled against the wall. Jim sat down calmly on the edge of a table and looked at Dwight with his eyebrows raised.
"Where is Sylar keeping her?"
Dwight rubbed his arm and stood up straight, his face terse. "I do not know."
"No, I won't be turned to the dark side."
Jim froze, his face contorting in confusion. "What, exactly, do you think you are doing right now?"
Dwight stood up straight and put his hands by his side, tilting his head up in perfect military precision. "I am serving the good, I will not give into the evil. I am using my power to help serve and protect."
Jim sat in contemplative silence. He tapped his pointer finger on his lips and looked down at his feet. "So that's why you are helping a manic genius kill innocent people?"
Dwight's shoulder collapsed out of his military position and he looked at Jim. "What are you talking about?"
"Sylar. The one you call the dark lord?"
"Oh, that's just a cover. He really is good. He pretends he is bad so the other bad people are drawn to him and he can kill them, protecting society."
Jim nodded. "Of course. So that's why he took Pam hostage."
"Pam's evil." Dwight stated as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"Pam is evil? Are we talking about the same Pam here? Pam. Pam who sits in the break room and eats mixed berries yogurt everyday."
"You are evil too."
Jim quirked an eyebrow. "Am I really?"
"Do I really need to list the reasons Jim?" Dwight asked in smug confidence. Jim stood up and met Dwight's eye. Dwight backed up slightly.
"Listen Dwight. I am not evil. Neither is Pam. I didn't even know I had powers until a couple days ago. And if me and Pam were evil, don't you think you would be able to tell without some strange guy in New York telling you?"
Dwight's face faltered a little and his gaze shifted. "Well, you-"
"You saw what Sylar was doing to Pam when we got to that apartment. He was hurting her, Dwight. He was hurting her. Good guys don't do that. And now he has her. He could be hurting her right now."
Jim took another step forward, effectively blocking Dwight against the wall. Dwight crossed his arms over his chest. "You are just saying things. Things so I change sides."
"Damn it Dwight! This isn't a game!" Jim's fist collided the tabletop and a wave of cold passed through the room, small splinters of ice forming around the area where Jim's fist had hit. "He has her and he is going to kill her unless I find him. Do you want Pam to die? She isn't evil. If you cant believe I'm not, than believe that. She's pure and good and if it were you taken, you know she would find you."
Dwight's eyes were wide behind his framed glasses as he looked at Jim's face. His mouth opened and closed silently before he straightened up, pushing Jim away from him and brushing past him.
"Lower Manhattan, in the back of an alley is a door hidden by old orange crates from a deli near by. If you kick them out of the way, you can get in."
Jim felt his chest deflate. "Thank you."
Dwight made a strange face and put his hands on his hips. "I still think you are evil."
Jim smirked. "Of course."