Benny Ray awoke, his head ringing from the blow he had taken. His eyes slowly adjusted to the small amount of light that poured into the room from an unknown source. He groaned as he tried to sit up and pain shot through his head. His side hurt and he knew that it was probably the result of the beating he had taken. He grinned as he remembered how hard he had made it for the people who had taken them captive. He tried to look around the room and felt his arms tied to something above his head. He slowly looked up, trying not to make himself dizzy. He saw his wrists shackled to a post above his head and he realized that he was standing up against the post. He struggled with the shackles and felt his hands brush against something warm. He slowly felt it again and knew instantly that it was a hand.
"Margo?" He whispered, as he remembered that she had been with him.
There was no answer and he started to panic. The hand had not moved and he stretched to reach it again and then felt the other one. They were at about the same height and he brushed over them again and felt nails.
"Margo?" He called louder this time.
There was a mumble and she managed a small noise.
Benny Ray was relieved to hear that she was at least conscious. He felt her move around and he reached for her hand again.
"Benny Ray? Where…are we? What happened?" She whispered.
"I don't know just yet. You okay?"
She opened her eyes, knowing the right one was swollen. Her arms had lost circulation from being above her head. It hurt to breathe so she assumed that she had at least some bruised ribs.
"I'm okay." She told him.
"Actually I hurt like hell, but I figured that you did too so I was just going to spare you from hearing my injuries."
She heard Benny Ray chuckle and then cough.
"How about you?" She asked, alarmed.
"I've been better." He said, sighing.
Benny Ray had no idea how long they had been there or if the others had noticed they were missing yet.
They had been on a mission and had separated to get some discs and photos for Trout. The Major and Delvechio had went on to the warehouse where they were to secure some weapons that Margo's contact had led them to.
Margo groaned and Benny Ray snapped back to the present.
"What's wrong?" He asked, panic once again in his voice.
Margo smiled weakly. He's hurt too and he's worried about me. Sounds like him. She thought to herself.
"Nothing." She assured him.
She closed her eyes, wishing the room would stop spinning. Her eye hurt and she knew she might have a concussion. Her vision was blurring and she was dizzy. She looked up to her hands and she saw Benny Ray's hands shackled to chains next to hers. She turned her body slightly and saw him standing back to back to her.
Benny Ray turned his head, seeing Margo's bruised and battered face. He kept his anger at their captors down and smiled at her.
"Hey sweet pea."
Margo smiled back at him. She saw that he had several cuts on his face and his nose was bloody.
They heard footsteps and both stiffened for whomever was coming their way. The door opened and they both turned their heads to see a tall man walk into the room. He was in his early fifties and Margo recognized him from the pictures that Matt had shown them. She recalled the details from the briefing that Trout had given them and knew that this man was bad news.
"So. You both are awake now. Maybe we can get down to business." The man said as he circled his two captives.
He stopped in front of Benny Ray and stood regarding the sniper.
"You. Who are you and why are you here?"
Benny Ray stood staring at the man as if to challenge him. He glared at the man and said nothing.
The man smiled at him.
"We have ways to make you talk, you know." He warned Benny Ray.
The man walked around to Margo and stood there, looking her up and down.
"Who are you and why are you here?" He repeated.
"None of your business." Margo said, staring back at the man.
He stepped toward her and reached out his hand. He stroked her cheek and Margo jerked out of his grasp.
"I will enjoy breaking you." He smiled.
"Go to hell." Margo sneered.
Benny Ray sat silent and listened at the impending threat. He jerked the chains as far as he could and turned to see the man standing there, staring at Margo.
"You touch one hair on her head and I swear I will kill you." Benny Ray warned him; his voice low and dangerous.
The man smiled at both of them.
"You will talk. Both of you." He said, walking out the door and laughing.
Two guards came into the room and unchained Benny Ray. They drug him out of the room and slammed the door, leaving Margo in the silent room.
"Where are Benny Ray and Margo? They're late checking in." Nick said impatiently.
Matt sat close by. He looked at his watch and sighed. He was starting to get worried himself.
"They probably had to be careful." Matt said, hoping he was right.
The door opened and the guards carried Benny Ray into the room. One of the guards held him up as the other shackled him again. Margo glared at the two men and watched as they left.
"Benny Ray?" She called.
She noticed that the guards had chained him to the post and he was now facing the post. Margo tried to twist the chains to face him but each time she did, the chain would dig into her wrists. Ignoring the pain, she twisted her body to see him. She reached for his hand and grasped it. She smiled as he tightened his around her small hand.
"What did they do to you?"
"Nothing to make me talk." Benny Ray said, opening his eyes and seeing her worried eyes staring at him.
He smiled to assure her that he was okay. He knew that it would be a short time before they would come for him again, or worse, they would come for her. He had been beaten again and knew that the longer they held out, the worse things would be for them. He would tell them anything and everything before he let them hurt Margo any worse. He sighed and felt a sharp pain in his side and lower back. He bit his lip to keep from groaning.
Margo saw the gesture and wondered what had happened to him.
"You okay?" Margo asked.
"I will be, as soon as we get the hell outta here."
"Think Nick and Matt know where we are?" Margo asked hopefully.
Benny Ray shrugged, knowing that the Major and Delvechio would need time to rescue them. It would be awhile and meanwhile they would have to be strong.
Margo was silent for a few minutes and Benny Ray wondered if she had fallen asleep. She moaned and he felt her hand stiffen under his. He knew she was scared and she was trying to be strong and not let him know she was worried, but he was too. He smiled to himself at their pride.
A few minutes later, Benny Ray felt sleep overtake him.
"We need to call Trout and have him get some more Intel for us." Matt told Nick.
It had been four hours and Margo and Benny Ray still had not checked in with them. He knew something was wrong and he didn't know where to start looking for them.
The sound of the door opening again awoke Margo and Benny Ray. The two guards came in again and unchained Margo from her post.
"Leave her alone!" Benny Ray yelled, jerking his chains to the limit.
The guards ignored him and carried Margo out of the room.
What seemed like an eternity later, the door finally opened and they stepped back into the room. They shackled Margo back to the post and left again.
Benny Ray felt helpless as he saw that Margo was not responding to his voice. He held her hand and wished that the damn chains weren't keeping him from wrapping his arms around her.
She finally opened her eyes and looked straight into Benny Ray's blue eyes.
"Hey." He whispered.
"Hey yourself." She said back.
"We're going to get out of here soon, okay. Just hold on."
Margo smiled at him.
"It helps seeing you." She said, blushing slightly.
"At least now, I can see you. I can be strong as long as I know you're here."
Benny Ray smiled, wanting to reach out to her. He rubbed her hand with his thumb.
"I will get us outta here, sweet pea. I promise you that."
"I know you will, Benny Ray. I know you will."
The door opened and the man stepped in.
"So, you two ready to talk yet?" He asked, seeing them both staring at him now.
He grinned at the silence that enveloped the room. He crossed the room to stand in front of both of them.
"No?" He said, motioning for the guards to come in.
The two guards stepped in, one of them carrying something in his hands.
Margo stiffened as she realized that it was a whip.
The man took it from his hands and cracked it.
Margo shuddered as she remembered the last time she had heard that sound. It had been the Grand Comoros mission. She had thought she would never hear that sound again.
The man walked over to Benny Ray and stripped his shirt off.
Benny Ray flinched, his jaw clenched as he held back his anger. He stood staring at Margo; his eyes focused on hers.
Margo saw the man draw back the whip and she closed her eyes as she saw it start to descend onto Benny Ray. She heard him grunt and felt his hand stiffen on hers. She squeezed his hand and forced herself to open her eyes and gaze into his blue eyes. She felt tears weld up in her eyes and felt them slip down her face as she heard the crack of the whip over and over again.
Benny Ray saw the tears fall from Margo's eyes and he felt the pain that was being inflicted upon him.
Margo's right, he thought, It does help to see her.
He focused on her face and fought through the pain.
The man stopped and withdrew the whip. He stared at his captive's back, seeing the welts that it had caused and was amazed of the man's strength.
He stepped back and saw that his hand was on the woman's. He smiled and walked up to the post. He grabbed her hand and squeezed. She let out a small moan and he released it. She glared at him and he knew that she would not break, that neither one would break.
He handed the guard his whip and he crossed behind the woman. He noticed that the man's eyes followed him wherever he went. He stepped up behind the woman, his hands running down her back and down to her hips.
Margo tried to shake him off and she felt his hands under her shirt. She struggled against the chains and felt her skin crawl.
Benny Ray was also fighting with the chains. He was like a wild animal trying to get loose.
"Get you hands off of her!"
"Tell me who you are and why you are here." The man said, his hands on the hook on Margo's bra.
Margo looked at Benny Ray, her eyes pleading him to remain quiet.
He knew he couldn't let this happen to her and there was no way if it was in his power to stop this that he would keep silent.
"What is your purpose for breaking in here?" The man asked again.
Benny Ray sighed.
"We came here to get some pictures and discs." Benny Ray said, avoiding Margo's eyes.
"Who sent you?"
"The US government. They're aware of your business down here."
"Benny Ray Riddle.""Her name?"
Benny Ray sighed.
"How many more of you are there?"
"And where are they?"
"I have no idea."
The man looked at Benny Ray suspiciously. He wasn't sure he believed anything that the man was telling him. He had tortured many people and all it took was finding a weakness.
This woman is his weakness, he thought.
"Are you sure?"
The man seemed satisfied and Benny Ray looked at Margo, whose eyes were closed.
He saw the man grin and then he reached up, releasing Margo's hands.
"What are you doing?" Benny Ray asked, tensing up again.
"I like a woman to fight me."
Benny Ray looked confused and then realized what he was talking about.
"NO! You bastard!" He shouted.
Margo's arms dropped to her side, the blood rushing back slowly. She heard Benny Ray shout and she knew something was about to happen. Her fear was building as she saw the man walk toward her and she took a few steps back from him, ending up against the wall on the other side of the room. She glanced at Benny Ray's back and saw the welts. She swallowed a sob as she saw the bruises and bleeding it had caused. She snapped her attention back to the man who was coming toward her.
The man was sneering as she started to make a dash toward the door only to be blocked by the two guards. She knew that she wasn't going to be able to fight him and the guards. Benny Ray was struggling with the chains and she heard him curse several times. She circled him, trying to get him loose, not seeing one of the guards had snuck up behind her.
She heard Benny Ray yell out her name as blackness surrounded her.
She awoke several times, her eyes focusing in on Benny Ray's eyes. She knew that she had been chained up again and she felt the man behind her, his hands on her. She swallowed bile as she realized he was raping her. She managed to look at Benny Ray again and felt tears slip down her face. She felt Benny Ray's hand holding hers, squeezing hers like she had when he had been beaten. She focused on Benny Ray's eyes and saw the intense look in them. She concentrated and lost herself in his deep blue eyes. As she lost consciousness again, she felt like she was falling into them.
Benny Ray watched helplessly as Margo lost consciousness again. Their captor backed away from her and grinned as he zipped up his pants.
"I'm going to kill you. I swear!" Benny Ray snarled.
The man regarded him for a few seconds and laughed at him.
"Maybe when I return, you will tell me what I want to know.""I already have!"
The man shook his head and turned and walked out. His guards turned to follow.
They turned to look at Benny Ray suspiciously.
"Let us loose. Take these off so I can take care of her."
The men looked at each other and turned again, walking out of the room.
"Please!" Benny Ray screamed at the door.
He turned his attention back to Margo. His back felt like it was on fire but he pushed it to the back of his mind.
"Margo?" He called as he stroked her hand with his thumb.
She didn't respond and he was starting to panic. The blow to the back of her head had knocked her out and she had regained consciousness several times. He shook his chains and pulled, trying to get loose. The chains dug into his wrists. He pulled on them, kneeling so his weight would be fully on the chains. He stood as he heard footsteps outside their door. The door opened and the man walked in again. He reached up and unlocked Benny Ray's chain. His arms dropped, the blood surging through them. The man then walked over to Margo and released her. She started to fall but Benny Ray was right there. He held her up as he watched the man silently leave the room. When Benny Ray heard the footsteps get softer and finally cease, he laid Margo down on the floor. He curled up behind her, the coldness of the floor feeling good on his back. He wrapped his arms around her, trying to keep her warm. She moaned and he sat up to see her eyes flutter open. She gasped and struggled to sit up.
"Shh. It's okay." Benny Ray said, as she turned to see him.
"You okay?" She asked, knowing his back was bothering him.
"Yeah, I'm fine." He said, his eyes searching hers. "How's your head? You dizzy?"
She sat up and he instantly came up next to her.
"A little." She said, avoiding his brushed a few stray strands of her hair out of her face and she winced. He scolded himself for brushing against her bruised eye. Her face was battered and one of her eyes was practically swollen shut. He reached up and checked the cuts on her forehead.
"I'm fine." Margo told him, gently pushing his hands away.
Benny Ray looked at her.
"You think Matt and Nick will find us soon?" She asked, struggling to her feet.
Benny Ray instantly came to his feet and helped her off of the floor.
"I don't know." He told her.
For the first time, he admitted to her that he was unsure if they would make it out of this one. He watched as she picked her bra off of the ground and slid her arms through the sleeves of her shirt, putting it back on inside the shirt. He watched angrily as she buttoned her camo pants and she caught his eyes and turned away.
She ignored him and turned toward the door.
"We have to get out of here. Trout wants those discs and pictures." She stated, changing the subject.
He watched as she hobbled around their cell. His back was on fire again and he pushed it out of his mind.
Margo turned to see him stiffen in pain and walked to him.
"Let me see your back."
Benny Ray started to resist but he turned against the wall. He eased the remaining scraps of his shirt that he had found on the floor, off of his sore back and let Margo take a look.
"God, Benny Ray! Why didn't you say something."
Margo felt fresh tears fall as she looked at her partner's back. Welts were starting to form over the bruises and there were several that had been bleeding. She tore off one of her sleeves and applied it gently to the cuts. She heard Benny Ray hiss in pain and she brushed away her tears.
"We need some water to clean them with."
Benny Ray turned back to her and saw the look of fear and horror in her eyes.
"It's okay, hon. I'm fine."
"No, you're not! Matt and Nick should be here by now. Maybe they didn't make it, maybe we're going to die here." Margo yelled, pacing back and forth in a panic.
"Margo, hey, take it easy. We're okay. We'll get out of here." Benny Ray called after her.
Margo continued to pace; her eyes wide and tears streaming down her cheeks.
Benny Ray crossed the room and managed to grab her. She struggled against him before finally collapsing in his arms. He stared down at her and realized she had blacked out again. He carried her to the corner of the room and set her down. He crawled up next to her, wrapping his arms around her and holding her tightly. He felt her breathing and her chest caught a few times as he realized that she was crying. He held her and whispered to her.
"It's going to be okay, sweet pea. I'm going to make sure that nothing happens to you again. He won't hurt you again. I promise you! Just hang on, Margo, just hang on." He whispered to her, rocking her gently in his arms.
He felt her breathing slow and knew that she had fallen asleep. His eyes grew heavy and he let sleep overtake him, still holding on to her.
"Matt, where are they? What the hell is taking them so long!" Nick asked, impatiently.
Matt stared at his operator and knew that Nick was right. Margo and Benny Ray should have been back or at least checked in by now. He hoped that they were okay and silently cursed Trout for sending them in when the CIA could have easily gone in and retrieved the information that they needed. This was their case however. Matt checked his watch and fished out his cell phone, dialing Trout's number once again.
"Trout, its Shepherd. What have you got for me?"
"Matt, it's taking some time to pinpoint their locations."
"Meanwhile, my people are paying the price. God knows what they're going through for your damn discs!"
"Now Matt, you knew…" Trout started.
"Don't bullshit me, Trout! Get me my Intel!" Matt yelled into the phone and hung up.
Trout sighed on the other end but he knew that Matt was upset and there was no talking to him when he got this way. Trout assured him that he would do anything and everything in his power to help them find Margo and Benny Ray and hung up with him.
"Ms. Johnson, get me the Deputy Director of the CIA on the phone. NOW!"
The man opened the door and walked inside. He searched the room and in the darkness of the corner he found his two captives, huddled together. He walked over to them and stood before them.
Benny Ray sensed something was different about the room and his eyes flew open. He saw the man staring down at them and he gripped Margo harder. He glared up at his torturer.
"Are you ready to talk to me now?"
"I already told you everything. I swear!"
The two guards walked into the room and grabbed Margo out of his arms.
"NO!" Benny Ray screamed, jumping to his feet.
"Tell me what I want to know." The man stated.
"How many times do I have to tell you? I already told you everything I know."
The man raised his eyebrow and regarded him.
The guards stood there, holding Margo up. One of the men looked at her and grinned sheepishly.
Benny Ray saw the look that was exchanged and he lashed out at the guard. The guard dropped Margo and defended himself against Benny Ray.
"That's enough!" The man shouted, stepping toward them.
The guard stopped in his tracks. He looked over at his boss and then down at the ground.
Benny Ray thought this was a bit odd. He watched the exchange and noted the expressions on the three men's faces. The guard reached over to the other man and took Margo back in his possession.
Benny Ray stood glaring at the two men. He turned his attention back to their captor.
"What is it you want me to tell you? I've already told you everything."
"Who are you with? And why are you here?" The man asked as he walked over and stood in front of Margo, who was still unconscious.
Benny Ray narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth. He couldn't let this man hurt Margo again. As it was he didn't know how hurt Margo really was and he knew that he needed to get her out of here and to a hospital. But first Matt and the others would have to find them. Benny Ray sighed.
"The government. To get some information for them."
"What kind of information?"
"Some pictures and discs that have your operation on them."
The man stood facing Benny Ray now, rubbing his chin as he listened to the operator. He tried to tell if the man was lying, but he knew that the man would probably say anything to save the woman from more pain and torture.
"Hmm. And who is here with you?"
"We were on our own."
"I don't believe that. You don't expect me to believe that, do you?"
"Look, whoever you are! I am telling you the truth. Now if you have a problem with that.." Benny Ray spat.
The man reached out and stroked Margo's cheek. Benny Ray clenched his fist and took a step toward the man.
"Ah ah ah. Don't be a hero."
Benny Ray stared at him; his cold blue eyes shooting daggers through the dark cell.
"Maybe we should start again." The man said, a smug grin on his features.
"Okay. That's what they got?" Matt said, talking loudly into the cell phone.
Nick glanced at him out of the corner of his eye as he flew down the streets of Ensanda, Mexico. They had hopped a plane to Mexico as soon as Trout had called with some information. On the plane they received more information and headed straight to Ensanda.
"Okay. We're about an hour out." Matt said, closing the phone and stuffing it back inside his cargo pants.
Nick glanced at him again.
"How'd they get here?" Nick asked.
"I don't know. I guess Perez brought them here after they were captured. I just hope Trout's intel is right and we're in the right spot." Matt said, sighing.
He reached back behind his seat and brought up the duffel bag with their gear. He checked his weapon and made sure he had enough rounds and then handed Nick the other MP5. Nick stopped the small car that they had rented and they managed to camouflage it in the weeds on the side of the dirt road. Nick checked his weapon and they started off through the field toward the coordinates that Trout had given them.
Benny Ray flinched from the sudden pain. He felt fresh blood seep from his broken nose.
Their captor had left, taking his goons with him and had once again chained Benny Ray and Margo to their posts. Margo had regained consciousness in time to see Benny Ray receive another beating and they stood silent in the cell.
"Benny Ray?" Margo said, breaking the silence after what seemed an eternity.
"Benny Ray?" Margo called again.
"Yeah. I'll survive." Benny Ray answered, his back on fire and his eyes closed.
They were once again back to back.
Maybe it's a good thing we can't see each other. Benny Ray thought.
Margo was silent for a few minutes and Benny Ray thought she might have blacked out again.
"How about you? You okay?"
"I'm ready to get out of here."
Benny Ray smiled and let out a soft chuckle.
"Me too, sweet pea, me too."
Margo sighed and stretched her legs one at a time. She had already lost feeling in her arms and she struggled with the chains around her wrists. They dug into her and she bit back a cry of pain.
Benny Ray felt her shirt brush against his back and he stiffened.
"What are you doing?"
"Trying to get out of here."
Margo pulled on the chains and jerked at them with all her strength.
"Damnit!" She cried, as fresh tears rolled down her cheeks.
Benny Ray heard her sobbing and turned his head to see her.
"Margo, hey. It's okay. We'll get out of here."
"NO! No we aren't! Don't you get that?" Margo snapped.
Benny Ray sighed. He knew she was right. It had been too long.
The Major and Delvechio should have been here by now. Where the hell are they? He thought.
They heard footsteps outside the door and braced themselves.
"Alright, now Trout's intel said they are in there. We wait for night and go in." Matt told Nick as they laid in the tall weeds surrounding the warehouse that stood before them.
Nick nodded and closed his eyes. It would be at least two hours before they would move in.
The door closed and Benny Ray rolled his neck. Their captor had demanded more information from them and again Benny Ray had told him that he had revealed everything that he knew. The man hadn't believed him so they had received another round of beatings.
Benny Ray heard Margo breathing shallowly. He tried to turn to see her but he couldn't turn without pain shooting up his back. He was boiling with anger now. The man had beaten him again. Two of his ribs were cracked if not broken and his jaw hurt from the punches that the man had given him from the attitude Benny Ray had given their captor. Benny Ray turned his attention back to Margo. She had been beaten also as she tried to fight the man off. Benny Ray's blood boiled as he recalled that the man had raped her again. She had fought him as long as she could and she had been punished for fighting back.
There was no answer from her and Benny Ray pivoted to see her. Her head was down and her eyes closed.
He heard her sniffle and knew she was awake. He turned back around and left her alone to deal with her emotions. He knew she would talk to him when she was ready.
Nick and Matt moved through the weeds toward the dark warehouse. As they neared the door, they stopped as the heard voices coming closer. They hid behind a dumpster as they saw two big burly men come out and light a cigarette.
"Man, this is too much." One of the men said, taking a puff on the cigarette.
The other man shook his head.
"That's what we signed up for. We knew what this was going to be."
"Yeah, but killing these two people...."
Nick and Matt knew they were talking about their team members and they stepped out from the shadows of the trashcan. They caught the men off guard and fired their MP5's and watched the men drop before they could draw their weapons.
Nick and Matt set off, looking for Margo and Benny Ray inside.
The door swung open slowly and Benny Ray blinked as the light hit him. His eyes adjusted to see their captor walk in, hands up in a surrender position and Benny Ray wondered what was going on. His eyes adjusted more and he saw his team members behind the man.
Nick rushed in and unlocked the chains around Benny Ray's wrists. As his arms fell heavily, the blood rushed back into Benny Ray's arms and then his hands. He turned around and held Margo as Nick unlocked her chains and she drooped in his arms. Matt held his weapon to the man's head and beheld the sight before him.
"You okay?" He called as he noticed the bruises and welts on his sniper's back.
Benny Ray was silent as he picked up Margo up into his arms. Her head fell back and Nick positioned it against his chest. He glared at their captor, who was now pale and shaking.
He handed Margo to Nick and walked over to him.
The man glared defiantly back at Benny Ray and they stood there, regarding each other for a minute.
"Sir?" He said to Matt and held out his hand.
Matt handed him a knife that Chance had given him before he had left to Hawaii. Benny Ray stared at the knife in his hand and in one swift movement; he shoved it into the man's abdomen and watched as his eyes grew. Benny Ray gritted his teeth and anger flashed in his cold blue eyes.
"And this is for Margo, you son of a bitch!" He snarled into his ear.
The man withered in pain and Benny Ray slowly pulled up on the knife, ripping the man's insides as he went. He was dead before he hit the ground and Benny Ray stood up and rolled his shoulders. He walked over to Nick and took Margo back into his arms.
"Let's get outta here, sir." Benny Ray said, following his team members out of the warehouse.
Benny Ray squirmed under the doctor's scrutiny. He had been poked and prodded for the last hour as the nurses and doctors in the emergency room hustled around him. He was anxious to get out of there and see how Margo was doing.
"How's my friend?" He asked for the millionth time.
The nurse told him that he would be filled in when the doctor came back, but he hadn't been. He was getting impatient and angry.
He hopped down from the table and stormed out into the waiting room where Nick and Matt waited.
Matt shook his head and grumbled.
Nick waited against the wall, shifting from foot to foot. He watched as the doctors and nurses ran past him.
The door opened at the end of the hall and the three operators stood as the doctor neared them.
"How is she?" Benny Ray stepped forward.
"Are you family?"
The three shook their heads.
"I'm sorry. I can't give any information..." The doctor said as he turned to walk off.
Benny Ray grabbed the man by his arm and twirled him around.
"Look, doctor! We're all the family she has! Now tell us how she is!"
"Benny Ray, back off!" Matt pulled the sniper away.
"Sorry, doc. It's been a long day." Nick grinned sheepishly.
The doctor glared at Benny Ray but nodded his understanding.
"She's in a room. She had some swelling in her brain from a sharp blow to her head and we managed to stop the swelling from doing any further damage. She's dehydrated so we have her hooked up to an IV to replenish her fluids. We ran a X-ray and she has internal bleeding and four broken ribs. She hasn't regained consciousness yet so we're keeping an eye on her. "
Matt and Nick looked at the doctor, not believing what was going on.
"Can we see her, doc?" Benny Ray asked, hope in his eyes.
The doctor took a second to think the request over and eventually nodded.
"One at a time, though. I'll be around if you have any questions." He told them and walked to the nurses' station at the end of the hall.
Benny Ray watched him go and turned toward Nick and Delvechio.
"Go ahead, buddy." Nick said, shrugging at him.
Matt nodded and Benny Ray lumbered off down the hall. He walked up to the station and asked for Margo's room number. The nurse showed him the way to the room and Benny Ray thanked her and walked off down the hall.
He stopped outside the doorway and peered in the small window and saw Margo lying in the bed. He took a deep breath and opened the door. He glanced at the monitors and the bags of fluid surrounding the bed and looked at her pale face.
"Margo?" He whispered as he walked over to the bed and pulled the chair up close to the bed.
He sat down heavily and sighed, leaning toward the bed. He brushed a strand of hair out her face and glanced at the bruised and battered face and the gauze wrapped around her forehead. Her left eye was swollen shut and her wrists had been bandaged. He shook his head.
Trout better be damn thankful that we got those damn pictures and discs for him. All this shit for him. Benny Ray thought angrily.
He reached out and gently grabbed Margo's hand. He held it to his forehead and then raised his head, brushing it with his lips. He griped her hand with his and felt her tighten her fingers around his hands. He smiled weakly at her gesture.
"Margo? Can you hear me? Come on, sweet pea. Open your eyes."
He looked at her hopefully and he glanced at the monitors, hoping for some sign of her waking up. He sat there for a few minutes and then stood up, walking over to the window. He stared out into the sunlight and stretched, glancing down at the parking lot.
A knock on the door brought him back to the present.
"Hey, man. How's she doing?" Nick said, peeking his head into the room.
Benny Ray stared back at him. He shook his head somberly.
Nick frowned and glanced down at Margo's still form. He shuddered as his eyes wandered over the equipment.
"What the hell happened back there, man?"
Benny Ray glanced up sharply at him.
"Not now, Delvechio."
"Well Matt's on the phone with Trout. He's looking over the intel we got for him. Hey, if it's any consolation, they were going to kill you guys." Nick told him.
Benny Ray bit his lip and glanced down at Margo.
Nick wondered what had happened while they had been held captive. He shrugged and walked out the door.
Matt hung up the phone and sighed, stretching his arms behind his back. He stood up and walked around the small waiting room and glanced out the window. He heard footsteps behind him and turned to see Nick come back into the room. He watched as Nick plopped down on the sofa and leaned his head back, closing his eyes.
"How is she doing?" Matt asked, crossing his arms across his chest.
Nick kept his eyes closed and sighed.
Matt turned back to the window and slammed his fist down on the windowsill. The other people waiting in the room turned their attention to him and Matt quickly smiled guiltily.
"I don't understand what happened back there. Benny Ray looked at me like he was going to take my head off when I asked him. Maybe you should talk to him." Nick said, leaning forward in his chair.
Matt shook his head and crossed the room to take a seat next to Nick.
"No. You know what happens out in the field, stays out in the field. Besides, he'll talk eventually."
Nick nodded and shrugged.
Matt stood back up and told Nick he was going to go check on his team members and asked Nick if he wanted something to drink. Nick nodded and Matt went down the hall toward Margo's room.
"Hey." Matt said, as he opened the door to her room.
"Sir." Benny Ray acknowledged him.
Matt stood before the bed and looked down at Margo.
"How's she doing?" He asked again.
Benny Ray shrugged, frustrated.
"Hell if I know, sir. The nurses and doctors aren't telling me a damn thing."
Matt glanced at his sniper, noting the angrier than usual demeanor.
Benny Ray stood up and walked to the window. He sighed and rubbed the back of his head with his hands, stretching his arms out.
Matt regarded him for a moment and then sat down in the empty chair.
"I think I should leave the team. After Margo gets better, I think I will be on my way."
Matt looked at him suspiciously, but said nothing.
Benny Ray turned back to face Matt.
"I think that's for the best, Major."
"If you don't mind me asking, why the sudden decision?"
"Well, sir, I talked."
Matt looked up sharply, not believing what he was hearing.
"I broke, sir. I couldn't take anymore."
Matt shook his head, trying to get it through his head what he was hearing. He couldn't understand what Benny Ray was saying. He sat, waiting for more details but he noticed that Benny Ray had told him all he was going to tell him for the time being. He watched as Benny Ray crossed the room and walked out the door.
Benny Ray stood in the cold night air on the ambulance dock. He couldn't feel the coldness of the night and knew that the shirt he had been given wasn't enough to keep out the chill. He felt eyes on him and turned to see a figure in the darkness.
The figure stepped forward and Benny Ray noticed that it was the doctor.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you."
Benny Ray nodded.
The doctor regarded him for a minute and noticed the far off look in the man's eyes.
"You should go inside. If you catch pneumonia, you will be sharing a room with your friend." The doctor joked.
Benny Ray managed a weak smile.
"Sorry for earlier, doctor. I didn't mean to lose my temper."
The doctor nodded.
"That's okay. I've seen worse. I'm Doctor Jamison." He said, reaching out his hand to shake Benny Ray's.
Benny Ray took it and shook his hand.
"How's your friend?"
"I don't know. No one will tell me a damn thing."
"I can find out for you. You very close?"
Benny Ray took a second to answer and then nodded.
"Were you with her when all this happened?"
Benny Ray again nodded.
"Then you know that she was raped?"
Benny Ray's eyes snapped back to the doctor and for a minute, Jamison thought he was going to hit him. He stood there, looking at the man's angry expression and wondered what these people were.
"Yeah, I know." Benny Ray told him, angrily.
"What happened? I mean who are you people?"
"Sorry, doc. That's a need to know basis."
Jamison nodded and watched as the man turned and walked back into the hospital.
Whoever these people are, they mean business. I'd hate to mess with them, that's for sure. Jamison thought as he finished his cigarette and went back inside.
Benny Ray handed the cup of coffee to Nick and carried the other cup into the room. Nick followed him into the room.
"Here you go, sir."
Matt turned to see his two operators and took the cup of coffee from Benny Ray and smiled gratefully at him. Nick walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. He looked down at Margo and shook his head.
"Man." Nick said.
Benny Ray and Matt looked at him.
There was a knock on the door and they turned their attention to the door. The door opened and the doctor stepped in.
"Hey, doc." Nick called.
Jamison smiled and walked over the bed and checked Margo's chart and wrote something down.
"I talked to the doctor taking over for me next shift. I told him to keep you apprised of her condition from now on. According to the attending doctor, she is still unconscious but she has been moved off the critical list and is now stable. Any questions for me?"
The three men looked at Jamison.
"What did you write in her chart?" Nick questioned.
"Just some information for the doctor. I assume you three will be here tomorrow?"
"Well I guess it wouldn't help to say that you all need your rest. I could have one of the nurses call you if there is any change."
"No. I'm not going anywhere." Benny Ray said quickly.
Nick and Matt nodded.
"Well it didn't hurt to say that. I figured as much. You should let the nurse take a look at your back, to keep it from getting infected. And to check out your other injuries. I know you didn't get any X-rays done and the check up wasn't finished."
Benny Ray nodded.
"I'll do that later."
"No. We can stay with Margo. It will only take a few minutes. Go on." Matt pressed.
The doctor led him out of the room and down the hall to an examining room.
Benny Ray stripped off his shirt and eased himself up on the table.
"Damn. What the hell happened to you two?" The doctor asked, seeing the cuts and bruises on Benny Ray's back.
Benny Ray managed a chuckle.
"That isn't a good thing to hear from a doctor."Jamison returned the chuckle.
He carefully re-wrapped the bandages around Benny Ray's back.
"My friend? Is she going to be okay?"
"Well, to tell you the truth, the longer she stays unconscious with the head injury that she has, the more she is at risk for brain damage. I hope whoever did this to you guys was made to pay."
Jamison regarded the strange man on his table.
Benny Ray hopped down and pulled his shirt back on. He winced from the pain.
"Do your friends know the extent of what went on? I mean about her being attacked?"
"Nope. I don't rightly know."
Jamison locked eyes with Benny Ray and held them. He gazed into the cold blue eyes and saw anger and secrets. Jamison broke the stare and sighed.
"It's none of my business, but you should probably tell them."
Benny Ray nodded and walked out of the room.
Nick paced back and forth in the small room. Matt sighed and watched him, glancing between him and Margo. The machines beeped and hummed, annoying him as well as Nick's pacing.
Benny Ray had been gone for about thirty minutes. Matt wondered exactly what had happened during their time in captivity.
"What the hell is taking so long?" Nick mumbled.
He glanced over at the chart that hung from Margo's bed. He looked back over at Matt and raised an eyebrow. He picked it up and opened it. Reading through it, he flipped through the pages.
"Nick, you shouldn't be reading that."
"Hey, it's all above my head anyway." Nick scanned the pages.
"Put it up."
"Wait. What's this?" Nick stopped.
"What?" Matt said, standing up and coming up behind Nick.
They read the last page and then re-read it.
Benny Ray walked into the room. He stopped as he saw Nick and Matt reading the chart.
"What's going on?"
Nick and Matt looked up. Nick handed the chart to Matt.
"Is this true? Have you read this?"
Benny Ray crossed the room and grabbed the chart from Matt. He read the chart and saw what they were talking about. He sighed and closed the chart, putting it back in the slot. He sat down in the chair, rubbing his face with his hands.
"Yeah, it's true."
Nick and Matt stared at him, shocked.
"The bastard raped her?"
Benny Ray nodded, his eyes on his hands in his lap.
"Yep. He did it to get to me. To make me talk, sir.""And you did?" Nick asked.
Benny Ray avoided eye contact but nodded slowly.
"I talked before he did that. He threatened and I broke. Then he didn't like what he heard so he raped her anyway." Benny Ray snarled.
Nick punched the wall next to him.
"He threatened me and then would separate us. I couldn't let anything more happen to her, so I told him what he wanted to know. He beat us and then got frustrated when he couldn't break us."
Matt sat on the windowsill and listened to what the sniper was telling him.
"He had us chained to those damn posts so we couldn't fight back. I tried to keep him away from Margo but he attacked her." Benny Ray repeated.
Matt and Nick looked at him shocked.
Suddenly a loud beeping noise filled the room. They turned their attention to the machines over Margo's bed.
"Delvechio, get the doctor!" Benny Ray shouted.
Nick ran out of the room down to the nurses' station. They were back in a few seconds.
"I need you three to clear the room! Now!" One of the nurses shouted.
"What's happening?!" Matt shouted over the loud beeping noise.
"OUT! NOW!" The nurse shouted again.
The three were pushed out of the room and stood outside. Nick started pacing again and Matt shifted from foot to foot. Benny Ray stood peeking in the small window, watching what was going on.
A few minutes later the staff cleared out of the room.
"What happened?" Nick asked, impatiently.
"She was waking up. Sometimes when a patient wakes up, they panic not knowing what is going on and feel the tubes hooked up to them. She's groggy but she's awake." The nurse smiled at them.
They thanked the nurse and all piled back into the room.
"Hey beautiful." Nick said, smiling and winking at her.
Benny Ray noticed the look in her eyes as she looked at him. He stepped aside and watched as Nick and Matt approached her bed.
"Hey." She smiled back weakly.
"Good to have you back, kiddo. Had us worried there for a second." Matt teased, squeezing her hand.
Margo noticed Benny Ray was avoiding her eyes. He stood in the corner watching them.
"You okay, Benny Ray?" Margo whispered.
"Fine, sweet pea." He replied softly.
Matt noticed the tension between his two operators and motioned to Nick.
"Let's go talk to the doctors to see when she can be released." Matt winked at her.
Margo watched Nick and Matt leave the room and then glanced at Benny Ray. He was still standing in the corner. She caught his eyes and he looked away. She noticed him wince as he leaned on the wall behind him.
"You sure you're okay?" She rasped.
Benny Ray looked at her. Her eye was completely swollen shut and her face was covered with bruises and cuts. His eyes traveled down to the IVs still in her arms and the machines that monitored her heart rate.
"What about you?"
"I've been better." She managed a weak smile.
Benny Ray averted his eyes again.
"Benny Ray, come here."
It struck Margo as funny as he walked slowly toward the bed.
He looks like a little kid in trouble. She smiled.
He saw her smile and looked at her quizzically.
"What's funny?" He asked.
"You. You act like you're introuble." Margo grinned.
He stared down at her.
"Margo....I..." Benny Ray started, sitting down next to the bed.
"Shhh." She whispered, reaching out and grabbing his hand.
Benny Ray grasped her hand. He looked into her eyes and saw the pain and fear in them.
"I'm so sorry, Margo." He whispered, brushing her cheek with his thumb.
Tears sprang into her eyes and streamed down her cheeks. She held onto his hand tightly and Benny Ray felt tears in his own eyes. He kissed the back of her hand and held it under his chin.
"I never meant for.."
The door opened and Xavier Trout walked in.
Benny Ray glanced up and glared at the man who was standing in the door.
Trout looked at his two operators and saw the bruises and scars from sending them on this mission.
"Ms. Vincent, Mr. Riddle." He acknowledged as he stepped over to the bed and leaned down, kissing Margo's forehead. He noticed Benny Ray glaring at him.
"I was able to turn the discs and pictures you two recovered over to the proper handlers. Thank you."
"Do you know what happened to us, Colonel?" Benny Ray snapped.
Trout looked at Benny Ray who was in a defensive position.
"I heard about it, yes."
"Then you know what we went through to get those goddamn things!"
"Benny Ray.." Margo struggled to sit up.
"No, Margo. The things that went on...""Stand down, Mr. Riddle." Trout warned.
"No, Colonel! That man beat us because we wouldn't tell him why we were there. And when he thought we were lying, he raped her!" Benny Ray spat, grabbing Trout by the lapels of his jacket.
Matt and Nick stormed into the small room. Nick stood in the doorway and beheld the scene before him. Matt wrestled the sniper away from Trout.
"Back off, Benny Ray! Now! That's an order!" Matt yelled.
Benny Ray reached back his fist to hit Trout but Matt managed to hold him back.
"Major, get the hell off of me!"
Nick stood amazed at the scene. Margo was struggling to sit up in bed. She winced in pain as looked down to see that she had pulled out her IV. Nick saw this and ran to get the nurse.
Trout looked over at her and started to move toward her, alarmed. Benny Ray was pushed against the wall, held by Matt's forearm.
"Stay away from her!" Benny Ray yelled.
Trout stepped aside as the nurses followed by Nick ran into the small room. Benny Ray saw what had happened and settled down as the nurses told them to leave the room. Matt pushed him out the door.
"Knock it off!" Matt told him as they stood outside.
Trout stood at the end of the hall and eventually seeing that Benny Ray wouldn't calm down, he decided to leave. Matt watched him go and then released Benny Ray.
The door opened and the nurses filed out. Matt grabbed one of the women and asked what had happened.
"She pulled out her IV. We gave her a sedative to calm her down. You three can come back tomorrow. She's had enough excitement for tonight." The nurse glared at them and walked off.
Nick sighed and walked toward the waiting room. He turned to see Matt and Benny Ray talking to each other.
"You are way out of line! You need to calm down." Matt told the sniper.
"Out of line! I had to watch that asshole rape her! I couldn't do anything about it! Don't you dare tell me to calm down!" He got out of Matt grip and stormed off down the hall.
Matt sighed and followed Nick. He sat down on the couch and put his head in his hands.
A few days later…..
Margo awoke, listening to the hum of the machines that still pumped fluids into her. She looked around her room, seeing no sign of her team-mates. The sun was streaming through the windows and hit the wall, warming the room. She shivered despite the temperature. She pushed the call button on the bed post, summoning the nurse. A few minutes later, the door opened and the nurse that Margo recognized entered.
"How are you feeling, doll?"
Margo smiled weakly.
"Where are my friends?" She asked.
"They left. After the incident the other night, they went on their way." The nurse told her, straightening her pillows.
Margo watched as she finished checking the chart and looked at her fluids.
"I want to talk to someone about checking out." Margo said.
"Oh no, doll. Not for at least a few more days."
Margo glared at the woman.
"No, I want to leave now."
The nurse looked at Margo, as if thinking she could challenge her. She backed down and threw her hands up.
"Fine, I will talk to Dr. Jamison about your release."
The nurse left the room and a few minutes later, Dr. Jamison came into the room.
"I hear you are ready to leave us?"
"We'll we can't hold you here, but I think it isn't a good idea."
"Doctor, I want to leave. I respect your opinion but I need to get out of here. I hate hospitals." Margo answered sweetly.
Jamison nodded and smiled.
"I'll get the release papers ready. Can I call you someone to pick you up?"
"I'll call. Thank you."
She watched the doctor leave and reached for the phone that was sitting beside her bed. She quickly dialed the number by heart.
"Silver Star." A voice answered.
"Debbie, is Matt there?" She grimaced at the woman's voice.
"Sure, hold on and I will get him."
Margo rolled her eyes and waited for Matt to pick up the phone.
"Yeah?" Nick answered.
"Nick? Where's Matt?"
"He hasn't come in yet. What's up? You okay?" Nick rushed.
"Yes. Can you come and pick me up? I'm leaving here."
"What! Are you sure the doctor....."
"Nick! Be here in an hour, okay." Margo snapped.
Nick agreed reluctantly and hung up.
The nurse returned with the paper work and Margo signed the forms and waited for the nurse to return. She emerged a few minutes later with a wheelchair.
"Sorry. Hospital policy." She added as she saw Margo glare at the wheelchair.
The nurse helped Margo out of the bed and into the wheelchair. She wheeled Margo into the lobby and waited with her for Nick.
Nick sauntered into the lobby an hour later. He bent down and kissed Margo on the top of her head.
"I got her. Thanks." Nick told the nurse.
He wheeled her out to the SUV and helped her into the passenger seat. He ran the wheelchair back to the nurse and jumped into the driver's seat.
"Where is everyone?" Margo asked.
Nick shrugged and drove in silence the rest of the way.
Thirty minutes later, they pulled up to the front of the bar. Nick turned the engine off and ran around to help Margo out. She was already climbing out as he got there.
"Take it easy." Nick warned.
He helped her down the stairs to the basement and onto the couch.
"I'll go see if Matt is in the office."
Margo nodded and looked around for Benny Ray.
Where is everyone? What's going on? she wondered.
She stretched out on the couch, suddenly tired.
A voice woke her and she realized someone was shaking her.
"NO!" She screamed.
"Shhh. It's okay. It's me, Matt."
Margo blinked and her eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness.
"Sorry, I guess I fell asleep." She grinned sheepishly.
"You should be in the hospital." Matt told her, kneeling in front of her.
Margo rolled her eyes at him.
He helped her sit up and she slid over, letting him sit next to her.
"How are you feeling?"
"Fine. Stop fussing." Margo said, pushing her hair out of her face.
Matt nodded, watching her carefully.
"Where is everyone?" Margo questioned.
Matt looked at her for a second before he answered.
"Benny Ray took some time off. I told him to check in." Matt told her.
Margo looked at him suspiciously.
"What did you let him go for?"
"He needs some time to think." Matt told her, looking at her.
Margo sighed and stood up. She looked down at Matt and turned to walk off.
"Where are you going?"
Margo shrugged and walked up the stairs. Seeing Debbie and Nick talking, she walked over to the bar and picked up the phone. She dialed the cab company and told them the address. As she hung up the phone, she saw Nick coming toward her.
"Hey. How're ya?"
Nick eyed suspiciously.
"Are you heading home?" Nick asked.
Margo nodded and walked toward the door.
The cab pulled up a few minutes later and Margo glanced back toward the Silver Star. She sighed and climbed into the cab. She told the driver where she wanted to go and sat back, closing her eyes and leaning her head back on the seat rest.
"Miss, we're here."
Margo awoke suddenly and peered out the window. She nodded and handed the driver some money and thanked him. She watched as he drove back up the narrow dirt road and turned back to the small wooden frame house. She shivered against the breeze and wrapped her arms around her. Margo walked across the jagged rocks and peered into the windows. Seeing nothing, she walked around the house to the pond. As she walked behind the house, she saw a figure sitting on the dock. Slowly she approached the figure.
"What are you doing here? You should be in the hospital." Benny Ray said, not turning around.
"How'd you know it was me?"
"Your footsteps, and your shampoo." He answered, still not turning around.
Margo smiled at him.
Benny Ray still faced the lake and as Margo stepped around him, she saw that he had cast a line into the water.
"Catch anything yet?"
She glanced down at him and saw he avoided her eyes.
"Please don't start with me now. I'm not coming back."
"What?!" Margo said, hands on hips.
Benny Ray finally glanced up at her. He could see the anger in her eyes.
"Isn't that why you drove all the way out here? To try to convince me to come back?" Benny Ray whispered.
"No. I had no idea." Margo said, shocked.
She sat down next to him and he held up his hand to help her down. He watched the lake and avoided looking at her.
"Why?" Margo asked, softly.
"I screwed up royally."
"If that's true, then we both did." Margo assured him.
Benny Ray looked at her, and shook his head.
"No, sweet pea. It wasn't your fault."
"And not yours either." Margo said, reaching her hand out to brush her fingers over the butterfly stitches that held the small cut on his forehead together. She held his face in both of her hands and he closed his eyes. She kissed his forehead and then grabbed his hand.
Benny Ray looked down at their hands and then back up into Margo's eyes. He saw tears welding up in them and he wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close. They sat that way for what seemed an eternity.
"Does the Major or Delvechio know you are here?"
Margo shook her head.
"Matt told me you left and you were to check in soon so I just assumed that you would be here." Margo said softly, still leaning against his chest.
Benny Ray nodded and sighed.
"You ready to head back?"
Margo nodded and pulled away from him.
"Only if you are." Margo answered.
Benny Ray stood up and pulled Margo to her feet. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him, shivering against the breeze. Benny Ray felt her shudder and held her closer.
"Are you okay?" She asked him.
"Yep." Benny Ray whispered.
"Are you sure? I mean, are you coming back to the team?"
Benny Ray thought about this and they climbed the stairs to the cabin.
"Yeah. What about you? You okay?" He asked.
"As long as you're there...I'll make it."
Benny Ray stopped walking and she turned to look up at him. She smiled at him and saw the look in her eyes.
"I trust you with my life. You did what you could and sometimes that isn't good enough. But I don't blame you and neither should you." She assured him.
Benny Ray regarded her for a moment and then pulled her into a hug.
"Thank you, sweet pea." He whispered, resting his chin atop her head and hugging her tightly.
"Let's go home." She said, wrapping her arms around him.