"How did you… manage to survive that?"

Nathan was trying his best to hide the pain, but his assailant could tell that he was hurt by the look on his face. Unfortunately, Nathan wasn't really in the shape to fight back. Sitting on his knees, he probably wouldn't have been able to get up with his hands tied behind his back, anyway. Not with the lack of strength that he was currently holding.

"A true magician never reveals his trick," Talbot replied with a hint of arrogance lingering in his voice.

He looked down at Nathan, who was on the ground, his hands bound behind his back with a thick rope. Nathan was on his knees, shirtless. His chiseled chest and abdomen were riddled with tiny red lines, indicating that Talbot had managed to attack him with some sort of blade. Little dribbles of blood ran down the front of his body, but not much had managed to escape the wounds, since they were relatively thin.

They stung like paper cuts. They itched like paper cuts, too. But- of course- Nathan's hands were tied behind his back, where he didn't need to scratch any damn itchy cuts. It pissed him off, which was very evident by the wild glare that he gave Talbot.

"Lookey here," Talbot taunted as he held a knife up to Nathan's throat to make him look up, "I'm not going to kill you."

He had a very deep British accent with a large dose of formality to it, which pissed Nathan off even more. Taking his time to remain formal, even though the two of them were all alone, was just another way to flaunt that he had the upper hand. It hinted towards the utter confidence over-filling Talbot's already explosive ego. He could do whatever he wanted, and he was going to make that very clear to his hostage. Nathan wasn't going to escape until Talbot was ready to let him escape.

"What do you want?" Nathan asked in the rudest tone he could manage to forge.

"Ask me nicely."

He was playing mind games. He wanted to drag this out as long as he could, and Nathan began getting a bit afraid that it may actually end up being much longer than he'd like. Granted, he wouldn't really like to be there at all

Maybe if he decided just to play along with Talbot's stupid little game, then maybe Talbot would let him go. Besides, Nathan didn't have a lot to bargain with at the moment. And what was the worst that could happen? Talbot had already admitted that he hadn't planned on killing him. Nathan only thought about it for a few seconds, and ended up deciding to behave himself for the time being. If he was lucky–Which didn't seem to be the case very often- Maybe Talbot would let him go without any more physical abuse. Being the 'Glass half full' kind of guy that he is, Nathan mustered up the courage to act according to Talbot's demands.

"Could you please tell me what it is that you want?"

Talbot defected his knife, putting it back into the holster at his hip. So that they were at the same level, he knelt in front of Nathan in an almost majestic pose, gently putting his hand on Nathan's shoulder as if they were friends. But the smile on Talbot's face told Nathan that he was forging an evil plot to undermine him as they spoke.

"I…Dislike you very much, Mister Drake. You lack the ability to have a simply…civilized conversation with a man."

"I asked nicely, didn't I?"

"Yes. Yes, you did," Talbot repositioned arm, grabbing Nathan by the neck.

Nathan felt the urge to head-butt the man, since he was so close, but refrained from doing so. Instead, he waited for Talbot to continue talking. Slowly, Talbot leaned closer until his nose was but a centimeter from Nathan's. He looked him straight in the eyes for a few moments, waiting for some sort of unruly response. To no prevail, Nathan kept absolutely silent. A little disappointed by Nathan's reaction, Talbot stood up and crossed his arms. His face turned into a solid disguise of blankness.

"Actually," Talbot continued as he walked in a large circle around Nathan, "You're behaving yourself rather nicely. It's about time you learn how to act your own age."

To Nathan it seemed like Talbot was inspecting him. Talbot had stopped at Nathan's left side after partially circling him in the clockwise direction. He had uncrossed his arms and was now using his right hand to rub the stubble along his jawline, fixating. Nathan felt awkward as his enemy continued to check him out.

"Can you please tell me what you are doing?"

Nathan made sure he remained mannerly when speaking. It felt odd, but it was worth it as long as Talbot didn't bother him.

"Oh, nothing."

Nathan's face turned bright red as he held in all of the frustration that was begging to be let out.

Talbot continued walking again until he faced Nathan once more. Unexpectedly, he curled his hand into a fist and slammed his knuckles into the side of Nathan's head, forcing him to fall sideways. Nathan grunted rather loudly as he hit the ground, his shoulder smashed betwixt his body and the rock-hard surface underneath him. With a headache quickly approaching, he rolled onto his stomach and let out a long, painful moan, which seemed to arouse Talbot's lust to inflict further abuse.

" You… British… Son of a… Bitch…"

As soon as the words managed to escape Nathan's throat, he immediately regretted saying them. He could feel the pressure as Talbot sat on him and grabbed his hair, pulling his head up as far as it would go in a position like that. In reply, Nathan tried to shake his head around in an attempt to stop Talbot, but ended up failing. Hurling his victim's head into the ground, Talbot swore underneath his breath, losing all patience for the man before him. Nathan screamed as his nose cracked against the ground. It had definitely been broken, which developed a river of blood rushing down his face. As it entered his mouth, he reminisced in the familiar metallic taste. His nose had been inflicted upon before, but not nearly as brutally as Talbot had just managed to damage it.

Still, Nathan found himself oddly smiling for no reason.

Since they had already managed to cross the barrier of a simple investigation, leading them deep into physical combat, Nathan knew that he might as well utilize the situation to get on his attacker's nerves. And, even though he couldn't fight, he knew exactly how to piss of his nicely dressed opponent.

"Why are you so angry, Talbot? Momma's boy upset that I couldn't save Marlowe?"

That was all that he had to say to set Talbot's anger off like a nuclear bomb.