Author's Notes: HAPPY PREMIERE DAY! First off: This story is a STRONG T! Just be warned :) Don't know where this came from. With said Big Premiere coming up, I found myself needing some Helen/John, preferably dark and weird. BAM went the muse, and here we are! Mostly written in great secrecy at work. Ssssh. I really do love Alfredo's… The stories that take place there have so much more dialogue than I usually do, which is a challenge, but very interesting and I think rewarding. Hope you enjoy "Jason" btw, is an original character I created in my "Faerie Tale"
Behind Closed Doors
Copyright 2011, MajorSam
Helen Magnus was not used to being stood up, especially in such an upstanding restaurant as Alfredo's. She acknowledged that she sometimes let herself have casual flings, a release of tension, or a seduction from a handsome stranger, but when she actually committed to seeing someone, or truly cared for them, they usually felt the same. Jason knew how she loved the small Italian bistro. She talked about it often enough, as his love for fine food almost rivaled hers. She knew he would be able to fully appreciate the decadence of Alfredo's food. Today marked the first time she'd actually brought him here as well as their 2nd anniversary. Not long, in the span of her life, but relationship-wise it was a statistical anomaly. He hadn't run away out of disgust or fear of her, her age, or her work. He hadn't simply fallen out of love with her. First and foremost, he hadn't died! Punctuality was one of his strong suits, and though she felt somewhat foolish worrying over a mere five minutes, she did.
After 15 minutes, the waiter personally assigned to her private room for the night kindly asked if she'd like some more wine. She nodded, giving him a tight smile. She took a sip, sighing when the deep red liquid slid down her throat as she absently played with the stem of her wine glass. Not one prone to fidgeting, she started when she realized what she was doing. She huffed at herself, suddenly feeling trapped in the intimate, candle-lit room alone with her worry. Jason had been scheduled to perform an examination late that afternoon, but he'd assured her he would have enough time to do the exam, get home to change, and meet her at the restaurant in time. Much as they would both have liked to take the day off together, their respective work was too important. Helen thought it would be much easier to schedule time together if he moved into the Sanctuary and worked there full time, instead of dividing his attentions between the Sanctuary and Old City General Hospital. Her attempts to convince Jason of that were fruitless. He fully supported her and her cause, but stubbornly insisted that some "normal folk" were just as mistreated and misunderstood as abnormals and deserved the same care and attention. Helen would admit only to herself how much his direct challenging of her thrilled her. It made her respect, admire, and want him even more. Not many men, not many people, openly and outright defied her once they knew the true scope of her network and life experience.
Helen glanced at the vintage Italian time piece on the wall. Twenty-five minutes late. She was beginning to feel sick to her stomach. Pursing her lips tightly, she stood and left to visit the restroom, her deep red dress swishing against the table and heels softly clicking. A few minutes later, while washing her hands, she looked at her reflection and noted the lines of stress on her forehead and her worried mouth.
Don't be ridiculous, Helen, she chided herself. Something's come up at work, and he just hasn't been able to call… or get anyone else to call… Oh stop it. He's saving lives, and you're being petulant for losing out on a half hour of dinner. He's fine. He'll be here soon. She fixed a few stray, blonde hairs, smoothed her dress down, and straightened her back.
The soft din of the regular restaurant section soothed her, and when she saw her waiter standing outside the curtain to her room, she smiled.
"You're gentleman has arrived," he announced in a smooth Italian accent, smiling and bowing slightly as he drew back the curtain for her. She thanked him graciously, and he nodded once more before letting the curtain fall silently behind her. She turned to face the table, her strong features softened and feminine in the flickering candle light. It took a second for her to see the face of the main waiting for her. In an instant, her heart leapt to her throat and she gasped.
The Alfredo's staff had never seen Jason before. John had probably walked right in, no questions asked. Helen grabbed the curtain behind her, tensing to flee, eyes darting rapidly around the room in search of anything she could use as a defense weapon. She didn't know what his intentions were, but he'd known she would be here. She scanned him quickly. He was wearing a suit, all black but for his tie and the puff in his breast pocket, which were both blood red. He matched her outfit perfectly. The second wine glass on the table had already been filled.
"What did you do to Jason?" she demanded.
"Oh don't worry darling, your doctor will be just fine," John drawled, his voice just as low and deep as she remembered. She repressed a shiver, assuring herself it was caused by worry over Jason.
"So he's alive?"
John smirked, tilting his head and looking at her. Into her.
"You really do care for him, don't you?"
She remained silent.
"Really, Helen, you surprise me."
"Red hair! You've never courted a man with red hair for so long before."
A flash of Jason's dark red hair filtered through her mind. It was thick and silky. It felt good between her fingers.
"And if that wasn't enough," John continued, spreading an arm across the back of the plush love-seat he was lounging on, "He's Scottish!"
Helen found his brusque accent charming. It fit his robust personality. It also made him the only man she'd ever met who had told her, "Your tits are right perky" and not been slapped or shot for it.
"I don't have to defend my choices to you, John, so you can stop your jealous goading," she informed him, her voice flat.
He chuckled darkly.
"I'll never stop, Helen," he promised. "I'll always be there, just out of sight, keeping my eyes on you."
This time she couldn't suppress her shiver. But was it from fear or excitement? She hadn't seen John in decades. She'd almost convinced herself he was truly gone forever. Knowing he'd been there all along, watching her…
"I suppose Jason is better for you than Viktor was. Though I must say I had a particular fondness for Natalya. I do love your lady friends, but Natalya…" His voice trailed off as he shifted in his chair. "There's something about you, naked, spread out on a sprawling fur rug, bathed in firelight while a vivacious Russian is on top of you, and…"
"That's quite enough, thank you," she snapped. He grinned widely at her, and she swallowed. That had happened at Natalya's lodge, isolated and hidden within the Russian Ural Mountains in the height of winter, 1952. They'd been snowed in for three weeks and had made the most of their forced vacation. With his ability, John really could follow her anywhere.
"What do you want, John," she asked him icily.
He let his blue eyes, dark in the light, drift down her body to her high-heeled feet. He raked his gaze slowly up her figure. His damned little smirk was present the whole time, smoldering away.
"Sit down, Helen," he said quietly, patting the seat beside him. "Our first course should be arriving any moment."
Helen stared at him, incredulous. "You don't actually think I'm going to have dinner with you, do you?"
He cocked his head to the side. "This is your favourite restaurant, darling. Do you really want to make a scene? Start a fight? Be asked to leave, then mysteriously they stop answering your phone calls? You're willing to give up Alfredo's?"
"You think the privilege of coming to this restaurant is enough to make me play along with this?" Helen scoffed at him.
His voice softened.
"Is the prospect of a simple dinner with me so repellant?
She stayed silent, trying to avoid looking into his deep eyes. Her death grip on the curtain slowly loosened. Her eyes rose of their own volition to meet his. Damn him! She breathed in deeply through her nose as she let the curtain go completely and stepped toward him. His gaze remained soft as she moved around the table to perch on the far right edge of the cushioned seat. John laughed lightly.
"Are we children, Helen? Too shy to be near the opposite sex lest we fall into sinful temptation?"
You are sinful temptation, she thought. She shifted closer to him anyways. She would have to choose her battles carefully, tonight, and sitting close to him was not something worth fighting over.
"Now isn't this better?" he crooned, letting the arm draped across the back of the seat fall to rest upon her right shoulder. She tensed; about to raise her hand to bat him away when there was a light knock on the wall. A moment later, the curtain was drawn back and their waiter entered with their first course. A wide, fake grin instantly appeared on Helen's face.
"Grazie," she said. John repeated the sentiment as he squeezed her shoulder, giving the impression that they were the happiest of couples. The waiter, Alfonso, topped off their wine glasses and left. He was happy to see their most gracious patron with a man who so obviously loved her.
"Helen, this prosciutto is simply divine, you must try it," John insisted. She reached out to try some, but John's large hand covered hers. She looked at him. He held up his fork, laden with a small bite, just inches from her face. She ground her teeth together; staring at the succulent bite like it was the Apple of Eden. John was in complete control of this debacle, and she had no idea how to gain any power back, how to turn the tables on him. John persistently held the fork aloft. After several tense moments, she unhinged her jaw, opening it. John smiled and gently fed her. She chewed woodenly for a second until the incredible flavours ruptured her mental barriers and flooded her senses. Yes, Alfredo's was good enough for her to suffer though a dinner with John. She took a large sip of wine.
"So, doctor, what wondrous new discoveries have you made in the field of abnormals lately?"
"Really, John?" Helen scoffed. "We're going to engage in small talk?" He raised an eyebrow at her. "Besides, you seem to know all about my love life. Do you presume to tell me that you haven't followed everything else I've done?"
"Oh, I've followed what I could, but even I am not foolish enough to try to venture into the Sanctuary itself."
Helen frowned at him. She was sure he knew much more than he was letting on, though he would never admit it. He wanted to drag this night out as long as possible. He would use his voice, his charm, his cunning, to make her admit whatever he wanted to, and she was afraid he would succeed.
Even now his long fingers were lightly stroking her bare shoulder. He was casually eating his food as though he wasn't even aware of what his warm touch was doing to her. What his presence, his closeness, the feel of his hard body brushing against her when he reached for his wine, or the subtle musky spice that emanated from him did. She knew better. Everything he did had a purpose; calculated and planned for a specific goal. Tonight he seemed intent on both making her fear for Jason, and lust for him. What was his end-game?
"Why are you here?"
"To see you," he answered simply.
"You just admitted you've been 'seeing' me for decades," she countered.
"I needed you to see me," he confessed. "I just… it's been so long, Helen. I just needed to be near you. To have you look at me, be close, maybe even smile at me once more. I just want this one dinner, then I'll leave you be again. One dinner to last me another few decades."
Her resolve to keep him at a distance faltered. It sounded like something he would request. She knew he was still in love with her, would always been in love with her. If she granted him this one evening, she would gain several more decades of peace. Peace, with the promise of seeing him again some other day, some other time…
The next course arrived quickly, and John's hand slipped down her arm to her elbow, playing with the sensitive skin on the inside crook of the joint. Damn him for his physical knowledge of her! She was ticklish there, but if one exerted just the right pressure, tingles would run up her arm to her neck, causing her to catch her breath and clench her thighs. The combination of fine food, wine, and atmosphere, in conjunction with John's soft touch and smooth voice, had Helen fighting hard against her own instincts. Her mind knew it was wrong, but her body trembled at the reminder of what they once had. He hadn't done anything threatening so far… Maybe he wouldn't? Maybe he really did just want to have dinner with her? The courses he'd selected were simply divine. He always did have refined taste. His fingers kept gently stroking her skin.
John steered the conversation, staying in control despite her best efforts to sway him. What topics could she bring up after all? "Where have you been lately, John? Oh, that's interesting, and why there? Because there were several young women you wanted to murder? Oh, that's nice!" Granted, she didn't know if he'd kept up his murderous ways all these years, but… No matter how she tried, she couldn't get him to reveal anything of his life the past 40 years. Shockingly he, however, did not press her for details about the Sanctuary or her work. He asked her about travel, food, wine, fashion, and the general evolution of the human race. She found herself almost laughing along with him as he compared the modern age to the time they grew up in. His face would light up when she did. She found herself comparing this man to the young gentleman she'd fallen in love with a lifetime ago. She found herself hoping.
Then she would remember where she was, and why. Her anniversary with Jason. The cold dread would settle in her stomach again, and she would reach for her wine. Five courses in, Helen picked up her wine glass and frowned. It hadn't gone down since she'd found John. She felt a warm caress on her bare knee, and her eyes fluttered closed. When had his hand moved to her leg? Why did she wear a dress that slid so high up her thighs when she sat down? Helen looked over at John and found it took a second to focus on his face. She looked at the table to find evidence of his foul-play, but of course Alfonso made sure there was never more than one bottle of wine on the table at a time. She had no idea how much they'd gone through so far.
"Excuse me," she said, cutting into his passionate review of the recent film, "Patton," which had won the Academy Award for "Best Picture." He was, of course, comparing it to their-own experience during World War II. "I have to visit the parlour," she announced, standing up swiftly. His hand gripped her arm as she swayed lightly. "I'm fine!" she insisted, shaking him off and striding out of their room. She walked confidently to the ladies room, but once inside, her hands fell to grip the edge of the counter and steady herself. She registered that her limbs felt distant, and her mind was racing, unable to rest on a single thought. Had John drugged her? Or had she just had too much wine? She took a deep breath and looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were bright, and her cheeks were flushed. Her hands, though gripping the counter, were shaking. Her fear of Jason's condition swelled together with the pent up anxiety of waiting for John to strike, and she worried that tension would need to be released, and soon.
Pull yourself together, Helen, she commanded. You know what John's doing. It doesn't matter how lovely he's been so far. He has ulterior motives, and you cannot let yourself be taken advantage of. No matter how light his touch or soft his voice. No matter how his eyes gaze at you, or how his beautiful lips crinkle at the sides when he smiles… Helen let out a light growl. A voice squeaked from inside the stalls, and Helen stilled. She hadn't bothered to check if she was alone. She heard a toilet flush and whirled around, diving into one of the other stalls before the woman could come out and question her. When she heard the door of the restroom swing closed, she breathed a sigh of relief, falling to sit on the closed toilet seat. She rested her elbows on her knees, burying her face in her hands. She could smell him on her. She should be outside, searching for Jason, the man she loved, but instead she was sitting in a restaurant with the man she once loved but now hated. Or so she kept telling herself. She squeezed her eyes shut. Focus, Helen! She took another deep breath and raised her head, leaning sideways to rest it against the wall. She needed to go back into that room and end this charade. She would command John to tell her where Jason was and then leave. It was a simple, clear mission. She shook her head. When was anything with John simple?
With a decisive nod, she stood up, fixed her hair in the mirror, washed her hands, and left. When she pushed the curtain aside and saw John look up and smile at her, his eyes sparkling, her resolve almost broke. Almost.
"I'm sorry, John, but this is ending now," she informed him, her voice strong. His blue eyes fell.
"Why?" he asked. He sounded lost and confused.
"It's been lovely. It honestly has, the food is excellent, and your conversation stimulating, but that doesn't hide the fact that you've done God knows what with the man who is supposed to be here tonight. I cannot let this farce continue any longer while you keep me in the dark."
She saw his eyes waver and wondered at what must be running through his mind. After a moment, he sighed and looked down. His whole body seemed to deflate.
"I was wondering how long you'd let this go," he said, his voice suddenly tired and worn. Her heart ached for him. He looked back up at her.
"Will you please just finish this course with me? We're almost done; it won't take more than a few minutes. Such fine pasta can't go to waste! Then I'll tell you where he is. I promise you he's alright." His eyes implored her. She hadn't become so heartless as to refuse him a few minutes, had she?
"Just a few minutes," she said sternly. He nodded eagerly. She walked over to him and resumed her place by his side. His arm draped across her once more. A second later the hand resting on her shoulder was around her neck, squeezing, and cold steel was pressed against her side.
"I just wanted one night, Helen," he hissed, pressing his face against her neck, his hot breath washing over her. "You couldn't give me that? Just a few bloody hours of your precious time?" She gasped, choking, her hands flying upwards to claw against his, but his grip was too strong. "Stay quiet now, my dear. We don't want to attract unwanted attention, do we?" he whispered as his hand let go of her neck. The blade at her waist pressed in just a bit harder, piercing the fabric of her dress, hitting her skin. She coughed, reaching out to grab her glass of water to stop her fit. Once she'd calmed down, she looked at him. His eyes were black and lifeless. She couldn't call for help now, it was too late. The second she did, she would be dead, and John wouldn't hesitate to kill whoever it was that came to investigate. He'd then either teleport away, or if the mood had really caught him, exit the room and cut down any of the potential witnesses inside the restaurant.
"I knew as soon as you'd left that our night was over," he spoke to her in a calm, cold voice. "I thought I'd won you over." Her eyes flickered to her wine glass, making him chuckle. "No, Helen, I didn't drug you. I wanted to do this right, just me and you, like we used to. You weren't hard to take advantage of back then. So naïve you were." Her heart fluttered in her chest. She wanted to scream, beat at him for making fun of her young self. She had been naïve, yes, innocent, but he'd loved her for it. He had taught her so gently, so adoringly, the ways of love. It had been one of the happiest times of her life. He'd destroyed her life, back then. She wouldn't let him destroy her memories.
"Sorry to disappoint you, John," she said, her voice laced with venom. His lip quirked up, and he reached out with his free hand, taking a strand of her hair and twirling it about in his fingers.
"Yes, you have changed, haven't you," he murmured. "Hard, ruthless, cynical." His hand moved to her throat, the marks of his hands still red on her pale skin. "I was hoping these years with Jason had softened you up a bit, prepared you for me." She felt sick to her stomach.
"I guess I'll just have to teach you to submit, again," he decided. "You learned to love it, back then."
"There is no way in hell…" she began. She stopped talking when he dug the blade deeper into her side.
"Let's just finish this course, shall we?"
He reached out to the table and grabbed her fork. He deftly twirled some tagliatelli onto it, and then held it up to her face. This time, when she accepted it, the delicious flavours failed to overcome her nausea. She was silent as he fed her the rest of the dish. The fork clattering against the empty plate echoed in her mind. What now?
"Oh dear!" he suddenly exclaimed, "I seem to have forgotten to have some for myself." She stared at him, at a loss for where he was going with this, what he'd do next. She had never been able to predict his actions. Countless people were dead because of it. She watched as his eyes moved to her face, then down to her lips. Her mouth went dry. "I guess a taste will have to suffice," he said quietly, his voice like melted chocolate. He leaned in, and she shut her eyes tight, the blade ever present at her side. His lips were warm against hers, and soft. After a moment, he chuckled.
"Come now, Helen. You know how this works," he whispered against her lips. The first drop of blood slipped from her side onto his blade, sliding down and hitting his fingertip. He gasped and kissed her again. Her breathing was shaky as she stiffly shifted her mouth, hoping that would be enough for him.
He would never get enough of her.
His hot tongue escaped his mouth to push firmly against her lips, wetting them, pushing them open. She squeezed her eyes shut as he invaded her mouth, tracing paths he used to tread on a daily basis. Paths she'd joyously let him learn. His taste flooded her senses, clouding her mind. His free hand grasped her waist, pulling her to him. She whimpered as the blade's tip scraped along her side. John kept the pace slow so that he never had to break from her lips to draw breath. Helen's hand drifted slowly up to the table, skimming along it as she cautiously opened her eyes and glanced to the side, looking for her knife. John suddenly bit down hard on her tongue and she jumped, eyes flying to his. They were open, two endless black holes, pulling her further into his darkness. His hand left her waist to grab her hand, mere centimeters from her knife. He guided her hand to his shoulder and roughly pushed it against him, his order clear. His hand went back to her waist. Her hand curled around his shoulder, digging her nails in as hard as she could, but he didn't even flinch. She soon gave up, battling instead against her treacherous thoughts, remarking on how muscled his arm was. Her hand slipped unwillingly down his shoulder to his back.
Neither of them heard Alfonso's knock. Neither of them noticed him peeking in through the side of the curtain, smiling, then letting it fall back. He silently closed the hidden sliding doors that rested just outside the curtain. Fully soundproof. Ms. Magnus knew all about this special feature. There was a button under the table that one pushed to alert the staff when it was alright to open the doors again. Some would say the "Special Room" wasn't dignified, or classy, but only a very few VIP patrons were granted knowledge of it, and after a visit, no one complained.
Behind closed doors, Helen's hand had somehow drifted under John's arm and around his back while the other had risen to cup his head. His hair was longer than when she'd last seen him, and her fingers curled easily into it. John's hand had trailed up her waist, his thumb currently playing against the underside of her silk-covered breast. He squeezed her lightly. She made a noise, so he squeezed again. Then his hand slid down to her thigh, fingering the hem of her dress that already lay so high. His fingers trailed closer to her heat, and she shifted, trying to allow him easier access. The blade at her side dug into her when she moved and she froze as if a bucket of ice water had been thrown over her, the moment shattered. John felt her change, and growled.
"Damnit, Helen!" he swore at her. His hand left her dress and flew to her hair, grabbing it and wrenching her head back to look at him. "Why can't you just go along with this?"
"You could have just asked me to dinner, John," she said through gritted teeth. He laughed at her, spittle flying out and hitting her face.
"You would have shown up with a contingent of bloody police."
"You don't know that," she pressed. "And now you'll never know, will you? Because I assure you I will never let you do anything like this again."
Fire erupted in his black eyes. He forced her head towards him, faces almost touching.
"Then I guess I'll have to make the best of this, won't I?"
He pulled her against him, crushing his mouth against hers in a bruising kiss, biting her lips, making her bleed. She struggled against him, able to ignore the pain in her side. At least until he pulled it away. She breathed out in relief. He moved her arm back and placed the tip of the knife just a few inches under her arm pit. Then he dragged it down, scraping open a long, thin gash down her side. She stared at him, wide-eyed and trembling. By the time he finished, just above her hipbone, he'd made his point. He raised an eyebrow, keeping the knife in place, daring her to move again. She didn't. He grinned, and his hand untangled itself from her hair, falling straight down to her thighs. He pushed her dress up to her waist, chuckling his merriment at her black lace panties. He wondered at the luck of Jason before his heart went cold. Jason, who had dared encroach on his territory, touch his Helen. She'd worn this lingerie for Jason, and John took pleasure in the fact that he'd never see it. He tore it off of her and stuffed it in his pocket. Then he touched her. His jaw went slack for a moment when he encountered her wet heat, and she hated herself for the way her body wanted him so badly.
Their bodies moved in unison, her sliding back against the back of the seat while he moved in front of her. The seat was deep enough that even his long legs could rest on either side of her as his fingers worked her into a frenzy. She'd decided around the time he'd ripped her panties off that there would be no stopping him, and that it would be safer for her to just let him finish. She wasn't going to completely surrender just yet, though. She grabbed the wrist that held the knife. He tensed, but when she simply held on, he relaxed. His focus shifted instantly to his task, which he carried out with conviction, playing her body as perfectly as he used to, not forgetting a thing. Within minutes her head was thrown back against the seat, her mouth open and panting with her eyes screwed shut in rapture. Pain still radiated from her side, but it mixed with the pleasure, creating a heady cocktail of sensation. He leaned down and kissed her neck, sucking her skin, running his teeth over her. Her hand slipped from his, falling to grasp at his shirt. Blinding heat started to crawl up her spine, her thighs started to tremble… and he stopped. Her body slumped against the seat, vibrating with sweet tension. He pulled the knife from her side, knowing she couldn't attack him right now even if she wanted to. Her eyes flew open.
"John, what…" she couldn't even form a sentence.
He wordlessly put his fingers in his mouth, cleaning her off of him before placing the bloody knife on a napkin on the table and pulling a handkerchief out of his jacket pocket, drying himself. He looked down at her, body still heaving, her lower half still bared. He shook his head.
"So wanton," he sneered. "My little whore."
Tears sprung unbidden to her eyes, her emotions having run the gamut with him tonight. She opened her mouth to speak, but didn't know what to say.
"My appetite seems to be lost," he informed her. "Our dinner is done." With that he reached under the table and found the call button. A minute later, Alfonso knocked on the door. Helen shakily sat up, drawing her dress down her legs. She looked down at her side. Blood seeped out of her, but was hidden by the red of her dress. The waiter would never see it.
"Enter," John commanded in a strong voice.
Alfonso entered carefully, checking one last time to make sure his guests were presentable before a wide smile graced his lips. In the dark light, he didn't see the red marks around Helen's neck.
"Are we ready for dessert?" he asked.
"No, mi grazie," John replied smoothly. "I'm afraid we're going to have to cut our evening short." He glanced at Helen with love in his eyes as he did so. She shivered. How quickly he could switch between roles. Alfonso bought it whole-heartedly. He winked at John before Helen could see.
"Very good, Sir, I will be right back with your cheque!"
Helen placed her hands on her knees, back straight, staring blankly at the tablecloth as John went about settling their tab. Inside her head, she was screaming.
My little whore.
And she was. She'd always been. Curse him to hell, but she'd never been able to resist him. He could have killed her at any time tonight, had possibly killed her lover, and what had she done? Laid herself out for him to toy with, his play thing, his life-sized doll. Cheated on Jason on their anniversary. Revulsion swept over her. And now they were leaving. Was he going to lead her to the Sanctuary? Follow her in? Or did he have another destination in mind, a place he'd already prepared for them? Should she try to run? She almost laughed at herself. There was nowhere she could run from him.
His hand touched her shoulder, and she jumped. He was standing at her side. She looked up at him.
"Time to go," he said. He held her arm gently as he helped her stand, her legs weak. He led her silently out of the restaurant. As soon as they were around the corner and a few buildings down, she was slammed into the hard, concrete wall, her head bouncing off it with a loud crack. His arm pressed into her neck, crushing her esophagus and lifting her a few inches off her feet.
"If you ever tell anyone about this night, I promise you I will know, and you will pay for it," he whispered fiercely into her ear. She nodded, unable to speak. His eyes pierced hers before stepping back. Her heels hit the ground and her knees buckled, but she stayed upright, clutching her neck for the second time that night, coughing. He waited for her to finish before sliding his arm through hers and starting to walk. Arm in arm, a happy couple.
Her jaw was clenched to the point of pain, and she walked mechanically as he led her through the streets. The moon was barely a sliver. She couldn't even make out the street signs as they passed, though that might have something to do with her slightly swimming vision. She had no idea where they were going, or what would happen once they got there. Would he finish what he'd started? Would he seek his own pleasure in her body? Her legs still radiated heat, but the night air was cool, and she hadn't brought a jacket to cover her bare arms. She shivered. John stopped, turned her towards him, and gathered her in his arms. His heat flowed into her, and she closed her eyes against her tears, her forehead tucked against his shoulder. Once she'd warmed, he pulled away, and continued to walk. Her side was throbbing, and she could feel her blood still seeping out. She'd need stitches at the very least.
Finally, they stopped. She looked around. They were in front of a nondescript building, in an indistinguishable looking part of Old City. They could be anywhere.
"I had a wonderful evening, Helen," John's voice sounded through the night. "I hope you did as well."
She stared at him, arousal and blood wet against her skin.
"I told you I didn't hurt him," he said. And in a flash of light he was gone. Helen gaped open mouthed at the empty space he left behind. That was it? He was gone? What had been the point of tonight? Why had he left her in this state? She glared into the night. Leave her wanting more. Leave her waiting, hoping, until the day he came back. For the last decade she'd rarely thought about him. Now his presence was back in her mind, full force, whispering in her ear, making her look over her shoulder to see if he was there. She shook herself free of her trance. He was gone. He couldn't control this night any longer. There was something she had to do… Jason! She looked behind her, seeing an unmarked door. She tested the handle. It opened. She cautiously opened it, squinting into the darkness.
She entered the building slowly, hands raised and ready to defend. She ran a hand blindly against the wall finding a light switch and flicking it. Much to her surprise, a light turned on, illuminating a small hallway with no doors. She crept along the corridor, the light from the single, yellowed lamp not penetrating the gloom of the room beyond. As she drew closer, she could distinguish a single, huddled form in the middle of the room. Her heart was racing. She passed through the empty door frame into the room and fumbled quickly for a switch. The light in the room was brighter, and she instantly recognized the shock of dark, red hair lying on the floor. His back was to her, but as the light came on, he jerked and twisted his body around to face her.
"Jason!" she cried, running forwards and kneeling beside him. His eyes were wide, and he called out to her from beneath the duct tape that sealed his mouth. She quickly tore it off, wincing at the ripping sound.
"Bloody hell!" he exclaimed. "Are you alright?"
Helen clamped down on a hysterical giggle. She didn't know what she was feeling right now. Trust Jason, tied up and lying in an abandoned building for lord knows how long, to be wondering about her health. But he did look ok. John had been true to his word; unharmed. He had just wanted to have dinner with her after all.
"I'm fine," she ground out as she worked on untying the ropes that bound him. "Are you alright?" She asked worriedly, scanning his body for injury.
"Well I was knocked out on my way home and awoke, all trussed up, lying here, about, oh… several hours ago, but I'm actually alright!"
Helen's relief was so strong she sat down. She scrubbed a hand tiredly across her face. Jason finished untying himself before sitting up and looking at her. His jaw dropped.
"My God Helen, what happened to you?" he exclaimed, reaching out to touch her face. She flinched, and his hand froze, falling to his side.
"Helen, what happened?" he asked again, his voice suddenly cold, fearful. He leaned back to appraise her fully.
She looked up at him through hooded, wet eyes. Her head was throbbing from hitting the concrete wall. Her lips were swollen and broken in at least two places. Her neck was ringed with red and dotted with dark marks. The bottom hem of her dress was ripped in one area. His eyes narrowed clinically as he zeroed in on her left arm. Was that… blood? He wordlessly reached out, gently touching her arm, making sure she didn't flinch again before raising it up. His heart lurched as he saw the tatters in her dress, hints of pale flesh bared to his eyes around several cuts and one, long gash.
She wanted to tell him. She wanted to explain, to confess, to apologize. But she couldn't. She couldn't tell him what had happened, or he would know. She'd have to make up some stupid lie about getting attacked by a mugger, or some other nighttime wanderer. Downplay the whole thing. Jason could never know how she'd been so afraid of John, so aroused. How she'd cheated on him, even if the choice hadn't fully been hers. She should have kicked John out to begin with. Alfredo's be damned! But she hadn't. She couldn't. How the hell was she going to explain this to Jason? Explain why he'd been kidnapped?
"I'm really glad you're ok," she finally said, her lip trembling, voice breaking. "I was so scared for you, Jason."
He moved forward and gathered her carefully in his strong arms. She didn't cry, but her body shook against his. He stroked her hair gently, soothingly, whispering that everything would be fine, he would fix her up, and she'd be good as new. On the outside, maybe, but not on the inside. Never on the inside.
She cracked open her eyes. There was a window on the far side of the room. On the other side of the cracked glass, out in the night, stood a tall, dark figure.
So… yay, nay? Do we like Jason? Enjoy "Tempus" tonight, those of you who are in the right time zones/internet capabilities... xo MS