Just adding another chapter to this one, the same events as the first chapter but told from Stacy's Point of View.
The only thing she can think as she stands beside him is that she wishes Greg had worn the suit. Maybe if he didn't look like a slave they wouldn't treat him like one. Suspension, professional sanctions, a slap on the wrist. Punishments for free men. She knew what the punishment for a slave would be. It was silly really, suit or not, there would always be the collar around his neck, the tag that dangled down from it. She hated that tag. Hated that she'd had to tag him as if he were an animal so that she could be with him. The tag gave him some freedom but it also enslaved him to her.
She knows he's nervous. He's been whipped before, mostly the standard ten strokes. She's seen the thin lines across his back, the marks of it. He hasn't been whipped since she's been with him. She'd been furious with him for what he'd done, for the risk he had taken for his patient. He'd looked at her in that blank, infuriating way and shrugged. He did what he had to do, in his eyes there was no choice. The patient had lived, the case had been solved. Her anger had faded and she had gone to him and held him tightly.
She thought she'd been prepared to hear the sentence but when Cuddy pronounced 'fifty lashes' her anger flared again. How could she sit there so calm and reserved and sentence a man to so much pain?
Cuddy invites her to witness the whipping. She wants desperately to be there, to support Greg, to show him just how much she loves him. She knows he doesn't want her there and truthfully it is not something she wants to see. She feels like a coward when she says no.
The two massive security guards have spun him around roughly, fastened his hands behind his back. He stands quietly between them, head down, staring at the ground.
She goes to him, touches his face, lifting it so his eyes meet hers. She can feel the committee members staring at her but she ignores them. She tells Greg he did the right thing. He can't touch her, with his arms pinioned behind him, but she sees gratitude in his eyes and knows she has given a brief moment of comfort. He mouths the words 'I love you' to her, for her eyes only and she wants to say it back but it is too late and he is gone, hustled out the door.
Two days he is gone. She knows where he is, knows he will be fastened down to a bed in the slave ward in the basement, naked, alone, hurting. Once she even presses the elevator button for the basement floor but when the doors open she stays inside, letting the elevator take her back to the first floor, where she belongs, where the free people are. Once again his wishes keep her away. He tries to keep this side of his life from her and she has always allowed him to do so.
She waits for him in his office chair. When he enters he is moving slowly, each step pained. His face is drawn and haggard, his clothes seem to sag on him. She stares at his t-shirt and knows what it conceals.
She goes to him, doesn't hug him because that will cause pain but strokes his face, gently kisses him. She's cleared the weekend with Cuddy, managed to gain Greg's release from his duties. She suspects that Cuddy might be feeling some sympathy for Greg, maybe some guilt. She can never be sure with Cuddy, sometimes she seems to treat Greg as nothing more than a walking, talking piece of hospital equipment, sometimes there is a glimmer of compassion for the brilliant enslaved doctor.
She takes him home, cooks for him, cares for him. He eats as if he is starved, sitting perched on the edge of a chair, never allowing his back to rest against a hard surface.
When they are watching television afterwards she tries to remove his shirt. She just wants to see, to try and bring some comfort to him. He stops her, again keeping this part of himself private and she surrenders.
She tells him that she loves him, it's all she can do for his pain.
At night she lies in bed and pretends to read while he gets cleaned up in the bathroom. An old married couple, owner and slave. Tears form in her eyes. She loves him but she doesn't know if it will be ever be enough, for either of them.