Beep. Beep. Beep. His only companion the constant tone of the monitor, but he was still alone and was grateful for it.
The heart beating on and on, even through travesty and horror, it beats to live on and keep on. Even so, it so quivers with anxiety, with fear for another intruder. He lies there; eyes open to the drear ceiling above him. Halls outside his doors had stitches through mouths silenced until the brunt of the morning commute made way through the doors and loosened them. Ears tuned to all sounds, so focused on breathing. With thoughts so drowned away to the dark deaths of his misery, a black void in his thoughts where the pain kept on beating with his heart, allowing no thought to be without witness of the terror from last night. He sighed with closed eyes of futile reassurance.
"Over, it's over. This isn't going to happen again," he whispered under the silent blanket of the early morning. He gazed out the window, a city slow to rise. With lights that left their golden flare to the night, bleak and empty under the sun, and the light winds winding through all crevice and niche. Shaking his head, he lay back down on the pillow, lifting his arm, embedded in a cast. A narrowing gaze and clenched teeth signaled fear that still had hold of him. His forehead creased in worry,
"They're going to come back…"
"Maggie, you awake?" Drake softly murmured, gently shaking his daughter. As seconds past with no reply, he smiled, brushing away the fair hair from her face. He crouched down beside her and picked her up in his arms, holding her close to his body. He made way to her room and let down her to the bed. Tucking her in, he snuck a quick kiss to her cheek. "Goodnight, Mag."
He closed the door, now out in the dark hallway of his home. He stretched and went downstairs to the patio. A star speckled night greeted him as he came outside. He nodded at the clear sight, nothing was going to ruin the weekend with his kid. Nothing.
"Hello Mr. Carpenter. How are you doing?" the nurse asked as she came into the room and did her job of checking the IVs. Joseph merely rolled his eyes to acknowledge her, barely paying attention to her. He scoffed.
"Not anywhere to close to bliss I had before you walked in. Mind you to piss off?" he hissed, not caring to tailor his words. The nurse remained quiet, undaunted by the crippled man before her.
"Is something troubling you?" she continued with the same tone of cheer as before. His scowl died instantly. Fear took swift steps to a smaller and colder place, paranoia. Analyzing all steps she took, he noted all her features and actions. She was dark and plain, nothing out of the ordinary.
"No, nothing." Words worked in small platoons, careful and silent, probing for the deep.
"Is it work?" The conversion picked up speed. He watched her look out the window; he watched her look to the ground, presumably at some car he couldn't see. Fear cackled in his ears, he listened. He could hear her plotting, plotting to kill him.
"Is the light hurting you?"
"No it's fine."
"Maybe you need some more time for rest," and closed the blinds. With darkness, the fear seemed to thrive.
"Well, same old, same old. Always stuck in the office."
"The office is it? Where do you work?"
"Eh, no where important. You should be asking that to upper management people, those who actually matter to the public and," he smirked, "the tabloids."
"Not happy with where you are?"
"Better than average, I suppose."
"Isn't being the Director of Operations completely king above the masses?" He breathed in for reply, face contorted to surprised. She stopped him. "While we're on that topic, the British Library should stop riling about in the old archives if they plan for another tomorrow." She walked away, locked the door and with heavy strides, came back, hands in pocket.
"Who are you?!" He sat up, his mind instantly coming to the resolution of the IV. Cords were ripped from his body, bleed seeped from the holes. What was this sensation? He felt tired, weak. Sight burned at the edges, softly blurring in the center.
"Don't raise your voice now. I promise it'll be quick," she slipped a long needle filled a gold liquid out from her pocket.
Drake coughed from the brisk air and retired into the house. A click of the door, a click of the gun, his life was stilled. The cold barrel pressed to the side of his temple, taking away all heat. In front of his was his daughter, struggling in the hands of one of the intruders. A large man dressed in black, how cliché.
"We'll make this short," a women's voice, high and abrupt. He couldn't see her face, not daring to even turn his head. "We're going to take her and you're going to follow our orders to keep her alive. Promise, no backstabbing or anything," she paused. "As long as you do a good job. We understand that you are a consistently hired mercenary for the British Library. You will get hired against us and while you're in, get the information that we asked for. Got it?"
Drake gulped, eyes transfixed on Maggie. She screamed as she could, mouth cupped and restrained. He nodded. "Good boy. Now get all the files about the missions conducted by the Library and even dig deeper for the more private ones. Also, it doesn't hurt to have some special employee files to wrap up the package with. Have a nice night now."
He ran, ran hard. Sweat poured in rivers, matting his hair, staining his clothes. Pain racked his body, but he knew. He knew! If he stopped, they'd find him. They'd get him. He remembered what he did; he attacked her and bounded out the door. He saw the doors in sight, he saw them. He stopped and hid behind the wall from their gazes. He panted, with breaths increasing in vigor. Wounds underneath bandages reopened and bled. Broken bones forced a dull ache through his body.
"No, no, no," he repeated. He clutched his head, trapped. Just calm down, just calm down.
"Jesus, are you an annoying prick." He jerked up, the nurse. The needle glinted in the bright light. A hand caught her wrist and he slammed into her abdomen, sending her to the floor. The needle shattered, its contents spilling to the floor in droplets and splashes. The actions caught the attention of the two men by the door. They charged to him. He ran forward and tripped one of the men, launching his fist to the face. He ducked under the swinging mass of muscle of the other man and commence with a swift uppercut to the chin. Fear chocked him as he was caught. The bulky hand grabbed Joseph's injured arm and broke it again. Joseph cried in hurt and dropped to the floor. He heard her voice again, through throbbing of agony.
"We wanted to do this the nice and easy way, but…I hate you."
Author's note: Carrots can heal bones. :O