A/N: It's been a while, I know. I've had writer's block for almost all my stuff here. But anyways, hope you guys like and as always, let me know your thoughts. Positive and negative feedback welcome.
Desperate, I will crawl
Waiting for so long
There's no love
Die for anyone
What have I become?
Breaking Benjamin: The Diary of Jane
Chris drew the curtains forward, encasing the hotel room in darkness and blocking out the light of the sun. He raised two fingers to his eyes and massaged them, having stayed up all night from his frazzled nerves. It was highly unlike him to be this anxious while on an assignment, but his nerves were shot from stress anyways. Most of the time he could control it, but with no one around to watch him right now, he was giving into it.
He shot the woman on the bed a glance, but she was still asleep. He sneered at her, for the briefest of moments envious of her. She could rest and escape, while he had to stay on guard for any possible escape. And if she escaped, it would be his blood that was spilled, not hers. He rubbed his eyes again as he collapsed back into his chair. He was by no means a rookie at what he was doing, but he always hated these jobs. They demanded patience and maybe it was his age showing, but he didn't have much patience for it anymore.
He picked up his gun and absent-mindedly twirled it in one hand, his gaze drifting back to her as it had for most of the night. The woman was truly a sight, even disheveled as her appearance was.
At least his eyes could be entertained during this shitty job.
Stephanie finally took in a deep breath, before shifting in her bed. She slowly opened her eyes and looked around, not recognizing where she was.
Suddenly, everything came back to her with lightning speed. She sat up immediately and her eyes settled on the man who was watching her with disinterest. Stephanie squeaked and backed up until her back hit the wall over the bed.
"If you hurt me, you'll regret it," she warned. Chris raised an eyebrow in surprise; he had assumed she would demand to know where she was, or would plead for her life, or burst into tears and beg him for mercy. Instead, she comes out with a threat. That was definitely a new one.
"That a fact," he responded in an even voice as he leaned back in his chair. Nonchalantly, he raised his feet so they were on the table in front of him, crossing them at the ankles. He folded his hands behind his head. "And what, pray tell, do you think you can do to me, little girl?"
Stephanie ran her tongue over her teeth as she glared at the man who stood between her and her freedom. It was dark in the room, but there was enough light coming in through the curtains that she could finally see him. Her killer in the flesh. He had blond, disheveled hair that fell into his eyes. Black jeans, black boots, black jacket, black gun. Death and evil personified.
His eyes, though, were the most frightening part of him. They were a crystal, merciless blue that held her gaze completely. They were coldly assessing her, and in her inherent stubbornness, she refused to look away.
"You don't know who you're messing with," she sneered at him.
"Neither do you, princess," he sneered back. He suddenly dropped his feet from the table and stood up, and Stephanie's bravado practically flew out the window. She yelped a little and tried backing up more, wishing she could melt in the wall so she could be free of him, all the while cursing herself. Clearly, she had pushed him too far and now he was going to end her life for good.
Instead, she was surprised when he didn't pay her any attention as he walked to a dark corner of the room. He squatted down and Stephanie took the opportunity to look at the window that was shrouded by the curtains. She bit her bottom lip, wondering if she could try escaping again. He was too fast and too strong though… he had already proven that once. Maybe if she waited until he used the bathroom or fell asleep? He was human. Eventually, he would have to give in to a human need…
Her scheming was interrupted when he threw something at her. Stephanie screamed instinctively, the object hitting her and startling her.
"Will you shut the fuck up, woman?" Chris growled as he stood up. "If it's that much of a problem, I can easily take it back."
Stephanie blinked at his words, looking at him in confusion. Finally, she looked down to see what he had thrown to her.
A box of Pop-Tarts.
She looked up at him in disgust, her bluish-gray eyes burning with brilliant hatred for him.
"You probably poisoned this," she told him with venom in her voice. "I am not an idiot. I'm not eating a damn thing you offer me, you bastard."
Chris just shrugged. "Starve then," he said, his voice matter-of-fact. He crossed his arms and walked to the door, looking into the peep-hole as Stephanie stared a hole through him. She looked down at the box, and as if on cue, her stomach rumbled with hunger. She hadn't eaten in who knew how long now. She had no idea how long she had been there, trapped with this heartless monster. Time eluded her.
Stephanie slowly took the box in her hands, examining it, only to find that it hadn't been opened yet. That eased her fears a little bit, but not that much.
"They'll come looking for me, you know," she said quietly, slowly opening up the box. Chris didn't respond, just continued staring out of the peep-hole. Feeling more courageous at his silence, she continued, "They'll figure it all out. They're probably looking right this very moment."
"They can try," Chris replied, his voice cold. He shot a look over to her just as she was pulling out the first wrapped package. "I'm stepping outside for now. I highly suggest you don't do anything that will piss me off. I'm not in a good mood, princess."
Stephanie's heart began to race as she watched him undo the locks on the door. He was leaving her there, alone? She tried to keep her excitement at bay. Clearly, the man was all brawn with no brains. She wouldn't even need a whole minute to figure a way out, and by the time he came back in the room, he would be swarmed with police officers.
Chris opened the door and gave her a warning glance, before slipping outside. He closed the door behind him and walked down the hallway of the dingy and seedy hotel they were staying at. The hallway was dim, with lights flickering. He ignored that and put his hands in his pockets, before walking up to the man leaning against the far wall by the staircase. Chris stopped about a foot in front of him, watching as the man raised his head to make eye contact with him.
They stared at each other in silence, before Chris gave a frustrated growl. "What do you want, Randy?" he demanded.
"Paul just sent me to check in, that's all," Randy said with a shrug.
"I don't need to be watched like a fucking kid," Chris sneered angrily.
"How is she?" Randy asked, undeterred by Chris' hostile tone.
Randy smirked with a dark look in his eyes. "She's pretty fucking hot, huh? Did you screw her, Chris?"
Something animalistic tightened in Chris' stomach at the question. His face darkened with hatred. "What's it to you, Randy?" he finally asked, his blue eyes threatening.
Randy's smirk just grew. "Well, I just figured if you weren't messing with her, that maybe she could use someone to keep her warm in that room. There is no heat in there, you know. She might get col--"
That's as far as he got before Chris ruthlessly drove his forearm into his throat and shoved the taller man roughly back against the wall.
"Look here, kid," Chris snarled angrily, "This isn't your job so I suggest you stay the fuck out of my business. You get near that girl and hurt her and it's not your head that Paul will want. And I swear to you, Randy, if you fuck up this job for me, I will bring you down with me."
Randy shoved Chris away from him and sneered, "Better watch yourself, Chris. Paul isn't very happy with you these days."
"Thanks for the news," Chris shot back sarcastically. "Now get the fuck out of my sight, kid."
Randy snickered and raised his hands, as if pleading innocence. "Whatever you say, man."
Chris stared at him, his blue eyes never wavering as Randy trotted down the stairs with a cocky bounce in his steps. Chris clenched his fists tightly at his sides, not liking the undertones and unspoken words when Randy had said Paul wasn't very happy with him. It was dangerously close to a threat.
He finally exhaled in a frustrated hiss, before turning and heading back down the hallway. He didn't go back to the room though. Instead, he walked all the way to the end of the hallway, to the window that led outside to the fire exit.
No sooner had Chris closed the door behind him, than Stephanie had sprung into action. Being the genius lawyer that she was, she immediately launched herself to the door and locked it after him, ensuring that he couldn't come back and hurt her again. The next step was to take his equalizer away from him. She spun around and walked to the table where he had left his loaded gun.
Very slowly, Stephanie had picked it up, shocked by the weight of it. She had never once held a firearm in her hand and the weight of its deadliness and power made her hand tremble.
Escape was the next step. Not wanting to go out the exit for fear of possibly running into the monster himself, she turned her attention to the window. She pulled back the curtains, making the metal screech. She raised one hand to block out the light, squinting a little as her eyes slowly got adjusted. Raising one hand to the top of the window, she felt around and sure enough, there were locks there.
"Damn it!" she hissed. She took a glance over her shoulder as if expecting her captor to be standing there, watching her with those piercing blue eyes as she deliberately defied him. He wasn't there though; the locks were still firmly in place on the door.
Every second was precious and she couldn't let more slip away from her. With a steely determination, she put the gun down on the floor and then turned back to the window to begin undoing the locks. The more she worked, the longer it seemed to take. Stephanie blinked as sweat ran into her eyes, lifting up an arm and wiping her brow with her forearm. She didn't care that she was ruining her expensive suit jacket. She was way beyond such petty things right now. Having your life hanging in the balance would do that to you.
Finally, she unfastened the last lock. Adrenaline running through her from the possibility of escape, she put her hands on the bottom of the window to lift it up and taste the sweet air of freedom, when he suddenly appeared on the fire escape landing.
Stephanie shrieked in shock and stumbled backwards, falling into a heap of limbs. Chris stared at her for a moment outside of the window, before lowering his hand and sliding the window open. Stephanie realized, too late, that she had left the gun conveniently on the floor by the window. By the time she scrambled back up to her feet, Chris had already climbed back into the room and closed the window behind him. Stephanie backed up until she was as far away from him as possible, her back against the door now.
Chris turned and drew the curtains closed, before finally turning his attention to her completely. Stephanie stared into his blue eyes, her gaze pleading with words that she couldn't form. He frowned when he saw it, before looking down at the gun on the floor. Stephanie followed his line of sight and she was so afraid, she wanted to burst into tears. She bravely choked them back, but her eyes were beginning to water.
Chris crossed his arms over his chest, still looking down at the gun, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"And just what were you planning to do, princess? This isn't exactly your kind of neighborhood. You wouldn't last two blocks," he sneered, his eyes shooting up to stare into hers.
"Let me go and let's find out, asshole," she shot back at him, her tone not betraying how terrified she was of him.
"Sorry, princess. But you're stuck with me until the end," he told her in a cold voice. His words hit her like a sledgehammer. If she wasn't sitting on the floor against the door already, the weight of what he was saying would have surely brought her to her knees.
When he bent down to pick up the gun, she finally broke.
Chris closed his eyes and sighed when he heard her begin to sob. This is why he hated these jobs. He straightened and looked her over. She had raised her knees and was sobbing into them, her façade crumbling to pieces as she wept inconsolably.
"Will you stop that? You're going to give me a fucking headache," he sneered as he took his spot at the table again. He reached over for a fresh cigarette as she continued to cry. Chris shook his head and lighted his cigarette, his hands starting to shake.
He snapped the lighter off, before exhaling a cloud of smoke. He watched her cry for a while, not seeing any of her face. He could only see the top of her head and her soft, brown curls falling on either side of her knees.
Finally, he lost his patience and growled, "What are you crying about, girl? You have a bed and you have food. That's more than I usually give."
"Y-you, you're, g-going…"
"To kill you?" he finished, raising an eyebrow. She finally raised her head and looked at him, dread on her reddened face as she tried stifling her sobs.
"Please, don't," Stephanie pleaded, tears glistening in her eyes. She drew her hand closer to her and he caught sight of a piece of jewelry in the dim light of the room. He raised his cigarette to take another hit, eyeing the engagement ring before raising his eyes to meet hers.
Chris rolled his eyes and exhaled. "I'm not going to do it tonight, now will you finally shut up?"
To his surprise, his words seemed to sober her up. He had thought that his admission of what his intention was would make her crying even worse. But all she seemed to hear or care about was that it wasn't going to be soon. He peered at her curiously as he raised his cigarette again, watching as she wiped her tears away and regained her composure. She was an interesting one, this lawyer. Not nearly as predictable as others he had been assigned to in the past. Maybe this wouldn't be the bore he had anticipated.
She sat in silence, glaring at him. Stephanie might have been described as vindictive and ruthless in court, but that was just her job. She never meant to hurt anyone; hell, she had gone into her profession only wanting to help people and make other lives better. Now here she was, trapped with a man who was the very embodiment of everything she stood against. He was her moral antithesis, and while she had never once truly felt hatred for another person, she felt it in spades for him.
"Just because you aren't going to kill me tonight, doesn't mean that you're not planning to do other things," she said, watching her tone, even though her eyes were dark with hatred. She protectively pulled her arms tighter around herself.
Chris snorted and looked at her with disgust. "Princess, I wouldn't get near you if you were the last fucking woman on the planet. Who knows what kind of diseases you might have."
Stephanie's face blushed furiously at what he was insinuating. "For your information, I am engaged to marry an upstanding man and he is the only one who gets a piece of this."
He snickered disbelievingly before raising his cigarette again as she continued killing him with the hatred in her gaze.
"Will you stop that? You might not give a shit about your life, but I don't want to get lung cancer," she snapped angrily.
As if to taunt her, Chris exhaled slowly, blowing the smoke in her direction. She bristled with barely contained fury and he smirked when he saw it. She was definitely an interesting one, all right.
"You won't live long enough to get lung cancer," he replied coolly, bringing the cigarette back to his lips.
Stephanie ignored the chill going down her back, drawing her knees closer to her again as she watched him. She blinked back her tears and the weight of the situation threatened to cave her sanity in. The situation was madness personified and she felt like if she breathed the wrong way, he would hurt her… or worse. They hadn't sat in silence for more than five minutes and already she felt like she was going to lose her mind completely.
"Will you at least promise that you won't hurt me until you have to?" She needed some assurance, any assurance of this, if she had any hope of keeping a clear mind to formulate an escape plan.
Chris looked over at her, her voice startling him out of his brooding thoughts, her words sending a shiver down through his skin to his bones. When the shock passed through him, he frowned at her in disapproval.
"I don't make promises."
Chris sighed and leaned back, kicking his feet up on the table. He looked over at her, his blue eyes sharp and analytical as he studied her form. He could see a light shining in her eyes that had nothing to do with the light of the room or with the tears threatening to spill over. He knew from experience that the light would fade in time the longer this game was played. Deep down, and he would be damned to ever admit this out loud, but deep down, that was probably the part he hated the most of this stupid game. When a person lost that inner light, it resonated inside of him and haunted his dreams.
He looked away, preferring to stare at the wall near the bed, ignoring her imploring eyes. He raised his cigarette to his lips and took another long and slow hit.
He exhaled and glanced over at her, before giving a slow, conceding nod. Stephanie felt like a weight was lifted off of her and against her will, she gave him a grateful smile. Chris just sneered at her and looked away again.
The sooner Paul gave the order, the better indeed.