A/N I must say, I'm not quite sure about this piece. I think it needs some work, so I'd love crits. Warning, it's slightly creepy. But I'd love it if you'd read it and tell me what about it is wrong. Thanks so much!


He sits back in his chair, well aware of the irony as he tries to delve into his captive's mind. She sits silently as she has for the past two days and keeps her eyes carefully blank. For the three hours he's been here, she has done nothing but blink and breathe. He doubts she would do those if she had the choice. He searches her face once again, trying to see past the tightly pursed lips and stony eyes. She will not give in; she knows him too well. And they're both too stubborn to admit defeat.

It seems like there's nothing to be gained by moving closer, so he stays where he is. He's exhausted—she must be, too, but he will not give her a break—and he just wants her to speak. He's tried everything he can think of to get her to open up, but she remains silent. No pain, mental or physical, can make her acknowledge him. Even his manipulations, usually successful, have failed him. The only thing he hasn't said yet is the truth, and he's damn well not going to tell her why she's here after this. He knows his justification for this has holes in it, and he can't let her see him looking anything less than perfect. He's afraid that he's already failed at this, but he can't give up now. He can't go back; he can't let her return to where she came from. No matter what he's threatened with, he's holding on to her this time. If it means death, then so be it. At least they'll die together.

He is drawn out of his thoughts by the sound of her shifting in her chair. The manacles holding her rattle against wood, and the sound sickens him. He hates having to tie her up, but he can't risk her escaping. For as long as she refuses to listen, she'll stay like this. He studies her as she tries to stretch, his eyes taking in every aspect of her being. Her finely toned arms, her perky breasts, the way her hair has grown so that it gently brushes the tops of her shoulders. She flinches under his intense gaze, but he does not turn his eyes away. He is captivated.

She struggles against her bonds again with surprising strength, and his imagination races once again. Once he can talk to her and convince her to stay, she'll see that he was right all along and forgive him. He can almost feel her now, pulling him closer with that same intensity, letting her passion surface without worrying about what other people will say. He imagines the feel of her body against his, her skin smooth and warm. He can almost taste her lips pressed against his, welcoming him at last into her life. It's everything he's ever dreamed of. He wants it, goddammit, and he wants it now.

She drops her head under his gaze and for a second he wonders if she's having the same thoughts as he is. After so long of holding out, is she finally ready to admit that she wants him as much as he wants her? But in the next second, her eyes come up and meet his. He almost flinches at the hatred he sees there, but manages to compose himself before she can see his expression. He still has a battle to fight, and he can't show any signs of weakness. At least she's breaking down; this is the first time since he's captured her that she's showed emotion.

"Let me out of here, now." Her voice, so harsh it's practically a snarl, surprises him. He's forgotten just how wonderful it sounds, and he has to remind himself that now is not the time to get distracted by her again. This could be his big chance, and he won't let it pass him by.

"You don't want to go." He's surprised that he can keep his voice steady, though it, too is rough from so many hours spent like this. It's too gravelly for his liking and he shudders internally. He can't risk scaring her away now.

"I don't want to stay. Let me go!" she strains against her chains once again to no avail. There is no escape for her, and the sooner she gets that through her head, the better. She is thrashing about so violently that he considers tranquilizing her for her own safety, but he can't bring himself to do it. It would waste too much time, and in the long run, it's better to let her be. Though it pains him to see her like this, he can't bring himself to leave. Her presence has captured him completely; he is as trapped as she is. So he sits, waiting out her fit, wishing her to be calm once more. It takes too long, but her struggle eventually slows. She hardly has any energy left. It seems she has finally learned that she has no chance of escaping.

"You're a monster." The hiss surprises him, and again he has to hide his dismay. Her words instill in him a sense of déjà vu. Can he really do this again?

Blood pounds through his head as he tries to justify his actions. If only she would admit that she loved him, everything would all right. He wants to hate her for not realizing this, but the emotion instead is centered around himself. Is this all his fault? Has he done something wrong that has destroyed her? If he has, he'll never be able to leave with himself.

Suddenly, the fatigue of the past three days catches up with him and he has to admit that he's been beaten. All of his scheming, all of his ploys have been useless. Worse than that; they've worked against him, and he has only himself to blame. But he can't let her go; there must be some way to fix things still. Maybe now is the time to tell her the truth, to let her out those words that have been sitting on his tongue for so long. After everything else he's done, the truth is his only choice for redemption. Even though it seems like all is lost, there is one last chance to salvage his mission. He will get what he wants in the end. He will not be beaten.

He straightens up in his chair, his resolve strengthened. He is ready to do what he has to do. Whatever it takes, whatever the price may be, he will win. He feels a smug smile slip onto his face as he envisions the outcome. His eyes lock onto his captive's and she stares back, unflinchingly, unfazed. This is his one last chance to change her mind. It's a fight for him to maintain his calm composure, when he is so nervous. Despite his will, his voice cracks as he utters the four words that mean everything to him.

"I love you, Holly."

She turns her head away from his, but not before he sees her tears.