"Sam, have there been any new developments?" Jenna asked quickly the moment she walked up to Cooper and Prophet, who were standing outside of the gate to welcome Mick's sister as she arrived. "Please, tell me you've found him."
"Not yet, but I assure you Jenna, we are doing everything we can and we will find him," Cooper answered sadly, not meaning to show Jenna his shaken confidence. "Mick is tough and he will give his kidnappers hell, as you know better than even I do. He'll fight as long as he has to for us to."
Jenna nodded as tears began to fall from her eyes, then she swallowed and responded, "I know you're right. That still doesn't make this any easier. You have to find him, Sam. Mick is all I have. I want my fiancée to know him and love him as I do."
Prophet replied for their leader, "We know, Miss. Rawson. As Coop said, he's going to be alright."
"Do you at least have any leads?" she asked again as the two agents led Jenna through the airport and to their car so that they could bring her to her hotel where she would be staying for however long she would be remaining in New Orleans.
"Unfortunately no," Sam answered. "As soon as anything comes up, we will let you know immediately. Now, as for your hotel room, everything's on the bureau, so if you want or need anything…"
Jenna raised her hand to stop the man who had saved her brother long ago from his dark past from talking, then she responded, "I just want my brother back alive. I need him to come back alive. Nothing else matters to me more than that."
It was then that Cooper's phone began to ring as he looked down at the unknown number, then looked over at Jon as he heard a crash as the sound of a fight came through the line, and immediately cried out, "Call Penelope and tell her to do whatever it takes to get a trace on this line now!"
After the first part of his kidnappers' ritual, the doctor finished stitching up the second wound they had given Mick, then left him alone again for a while as they prepared themselves for the next step. They hadn't left the room completely, as the gas station was only one large room with the exception of the bathroom, but Mick could hear the doctor speaking softly in the distance to the Haitian, whom Mick deduced early on couldn't speak. Though the pain level within him had only increased since the doctor had begun to cut him open, Mick remained conscious as the paralysis continued its hold.
However, his assailants didn't know Mick had something up on them, a gift Mick had developed through his years while fighting overseas by practicing to build up an immunity to a number of drugs, helping most others as well to work their way through his body faster than they did anyone else's. By the time the doctor had finished, the agent had slowly started regaining feeling back within his fingers and toes, and knew that the rest of his body wouldn't be far behind.
"We don't have the time with this one as we had with the others," Mick heard the doctor say more forcefully after their long conversation, still from across the room as he worked to loosen his fingers so that he could continue to loosen the cords keeping his wrists tied. "There's more pressure on us to save him faster than the others so that the police and FBI will get off of our backs once we release him."
"Time isn't what's important," the Haitian replied through his writing. "Only his life."
She answered, "You're right, but we can't just ignore that the agents are more motivated to find us now than before either. We need to continue now. He is strong enough. The demons will not take this one."
He nodded and then wrote again, "Very well. Paint the symbols on his chest. I'll finish collecting the rest of the mixtures from our car and mixing them."
"You still being awake only instills a greater confidence in our passion to heal you, Agent Rawson," Dr. Stevens spoke to Mick softly once her partner walked away as she stood over him and looked down into his dark eyes.
"I'm afraid I'm more than simply awake, doctor," their captive responded to the woman's surprise when she spun around as Mick suddenly wrapped his arms around her neck, having been able to loosen the cords around his arms and waist just enough for him to slip his arms free before she had walked back over to him, and then squeezed the right pressure points until she became unconscious.
Once she was down and had fallen to the floor, Mick waited until he knew that the Haitian hadn't heard his and the woman's brief struggle, then he weakly continued to break free of the rest of his bindings. The ex soldier may have had more movement again within his arms, but barely that. The rest of his body was still weak and Mick knew that her partner would be back before he'd have the strength take him out too.
Upon looking around the room for something to help him, Mick finally saw the doctor's burn phone she had been using instead of her own cell, now lying on the ground beside her, the device having fallen from her pocket during their struggle. So with difficulty the agent rolled his body from off of the table down to the floor beside her, stifling his urge to cry out as his pain flared once again, and finally fumbled with the phone to dial Cooper's number just as the Haitian came back and saw that the woman he cared for was down and that their prisoner was free.
A new struggle upon the floor broke out as Mick swiftly managed to toss the phone beneath the table to keep his assailants from seeing that it was in use, knowing that his teammates would know that it was him and trace the call for his location. Then, he fought for as long as he could against the larger man, but to no avail. What little strength Mick had was gone and the Haitian knocked him out with one final blow to his head.
Once the agent was no longer a threat, the Haitian focused on helping the woman he had cared for since she had just started college as he gently stroke her face in an effort to wake her, then carefully helped her to sit up once she finally did awaken. She looked at her friend in confusion until her memory of what happened came back to her once she saw Mick lying unconscious on the floor beside her.
She looked into the Haitian's eyes as she stated in frustration, "I never should have allowed him to get the drop on me. I didn't realize that the acetylcholine had already started to wear off. It shouldn't have."
Her partner held his notebook as he wrote, then showed it to her again as she read his reply, "The others only needed a single dose. It was several hours before they could even open and close their eyes. How is this possible?"
"I'm not sure," she answered nervously. "Obviously his body reacts much differently to drugs than most people. There may be something in his background that we wouldn't know about."
"We need to give him another dose then," the Haitian responded again. "It won't be long before a man of his strength awakens once again."
Dr. Stevens shook her head and replied, "I can't do that, not without knowing how his body might react. We can't risk killing him, unless we discover that it's absolutely necessary to do so. I need you to tie him down, but be sure that his bindings are much tighter this time. I don't want to risk him hurting himself any more than he already has either."
The silent man did as she sked as he carefully pulled Mick's body from off of the floor and laid him back down on the table, then tied the cords back around his body like before. It wasn't until the doctor had begun to paint the symbols across his chest, using Mick's own blood they had collected in the wooden bowl earlier as the substance.
Mick saw the Haitian standing on the opposite side of the table than his partner as he stared cruelly down at the agent, then he spoke up asking, "Why are you really doing this? What do you have to gain from trying to free me of some demon that's only in your minds?"
"In my mind, Agent Rawson," she answered curtly. "Toussaint doesn't have the same gift that I have, but he believes in me and the two of us believe in the work we have been called to do."
"Yes, yes, I know, but how did you receive this gift?" Mick asked again, hoping that he could get a better understanding as to the cause of this woman's delusions and reason for doing all that they've done. "Please, I just want to understand, in case you can't save me."
The Haitian quickly wrote again in his notebook and allowed her to read his words, it saying, "You do not have to explain anything to this man. You have no need to explain yourself to anyone."
The doctor smiled at her friend sadly as she picked up another syringe from the tray beside her, then prepped it as she responded to Mick, "My gift came to me as I was being tortured and abused during a hazing ritual that had gone terribly wrong. I just wanted to belong somewhere, so I joined a sorority, but little did I know that they had no intention of accepting me. Instead they kidnapped me, tied me to an altar in the middle of the woods, and began to perform this terrifying and excruciating voodoo ritual, as a prank. Between it all I began to see demons and this great evil within the students doing this to me. I screamed and cried, begging them to stop and for anyone to help me, but no one did, until Toussaint heard my cries and rescued me after he killed all those that did this to me. I lived and I was blessed in reward for my will to live through it all. Now, I can see the evil that lurks within so many people and Toussaint and I do all we can to try to help save these people. There is a demon in you too, Agent Rawson. It's even darker than the being I saw within your friend back at the police station. Don't you wish to be free of it?"
"You've already made my choice for me, love," Mick replied. "Go ahead, but you will regret it."
"You're wrong," she answered coldly as she injected the needle's fluid into his veins of one of his arms and the agony he felt increased tenfold, causing him to scream as his entire body arched upward as far as it could.
The poison now spreading through his bloodstream was a different kind of torture from the likes of which he had experienced as a sniper in the wars he fought as Mick's vision blurred and his mind grew hazy as a dizziness swept over him. Soon his screaming faded and his body sank back down against the table as the Haitian had begun some sort of deep, almost hypnotizing chant, the only sound that could ever come from his mouth, but Mick's agony didn't end. As he suffered, the Haitian sang and the doctor only stood back and watched their work in awe.
All of a sudden, the doors was busted down and several uniformed men and women heavily armed swarmed into the room as they shouted, ordering the assailants to stand down until they were eventually tackled to the ground. Once they were taken care of, the FBI's RED CELL team moved swiftly to their comrade's side as they worked to break through his bindings and pull the fever stricken man close as an ambulance was called. Mick was still conscious, but barely as Cooper held him tightly against him in hope of giving the younger man some way of knowing that they had found him.
Six days later…
Mick slowly opened his eyes and struggled to look at his surroundings, very quickly finding Sam, who lowered his paper upon seeing his friend had awakened, sitting down in a chair beside the hospital bed he was clearly lying in. The ex sniper continued to look around as his eyes stopped on a young woman asleep, lying over his right arm while she rested her hand over his. It didn't take long for him to recognize the prone form of his beautiful little sister.
Sam spoke first saying, "She's barely left your side since you were brought in. She's been worried about you. We all have. Thank God you've pulled though. The doctors didn't think you would."
Mick asked weakly, "Wh… why…?"
"Jenna tried calling you the night you disappeared," Sam responded quietly, understanding what it was he was trying to ask him. "When you didn't answer or call her back, she became worried and called me. I had no choice, but to call her back and explain to her what had happened, so she didn't worry any more than she had to. She's exhausted."
"How long?" Mick asked again.
Cooper continued, "For six days. You've been in the hospital for six days. We found you after only one night, but you were in bad shape. The doctor's say that the poison concoction Dr. Stevens put into your system put your body through hell. Don't worry, they've both been arrested and will pay for what they've done."
It was then that Jenna awoke as she exclaimed, "Mick! Thank God!"
"It's good to… see you too, love," he replied as she suddenly lowered herself over him to hug him, while he raised one arm to try to reciprocate the affection.
"You scared the hell out of me," Jenna stated angrily as she stood straight again. "Please don't ever do that to me again. With your time overseas and now… I don't ever want to lose you, not like that."
Mick looked between his sister and the man he looked up to more than anyone else and answered, "I didn't intend for this… for this to happen."
Sam looked at Jenna as he asked, "May I have a moment alone with him, please?"
"I'll be right outside," she responded and leaned down again to kiss Mick on his cheek, then patted Sam shoulder on her way out. "Try to talk some sense into him, Sam."
"What is it?" the Brit asked sternly once he and the leader were alone again.
"Obviously you didn't intend to get yourself kidnapped, but you did intend to get in between the Haitian and Dr. Stevens when they attacked me," Cooper replied in frustration as he stood beside Mick with his arms crossed. "You put yourself in harm's way because you feel like you owe me for saving your life years ago. You would take a bullet for me, without hesitation, and without thought about how anyone else would feel if you died."
Mick nodded and then answered, "You're damn straight I would. You didn't just save… my life when I was held prisoner and tortured those four months while fighting in a battle that wasn't my battle to fight. You saved me from… myself. You saw the man… the man that I was back then. And you didn't give up on me. You helped me and brought me home… to Jenna. That is something I can never repay, but I will never stop trying. Not even if that means giving my life for yours."
Sam looked at him sadly as he asked, "And what about Jenna? What happens to her if you die?"
"I know that you'll do the right thing by her," Mick responded weakly as he slowly began to feel more and more exhausted. "That you'll… take care of her, like you always have. No more talk. Some other time maybe, but right now… I just want to see her… and the others."
"All right," Cooper replied as he finally motioned for Jenna, who was watching them from the room's window, to come back in, followed by the rest of the team, who also watched their friends talk while they waited to see Mick.
Prophet took Mick's hand in his as he said, "It's so good to finally see you awake again, man. You awoke a couple of times over the last few days, but tonight's the first time you're fully conscious."
Beth hugged him, as did Gina, then Mick asked, "How long was I…?"
"You've been out of it for six days," Beth answered.
"The doctors didn't believe us when we claimed that you'd pull through," Gina continued as she looked over at Jenna. "Jenna had more faith that you would than even the rest of us."
Sam smiled at the young woman, who wasn't one of the team, then responded, "Your sister's a brave woman."
Mick nodded as he wearily closed his eyes, then reopened them in attempt to fight off his body's effort for rest, then the team leader stated, "I think it's time we left for now. Let him get the rest he needs."
"Jenna, don't go," Mick pleaded as he tried to reach out to her. "Stay."
"I'm not going anywhere," she replied as she sat down again beside him.
As his eyes closed, he spoke barely above a whisper, "I want to meet… your fiancée. He must be… a good man…"
Jenna smiled as tears slowly began to fall down her face, then as her brother finally fell asleep again, she laid her body down, rested her head on his chest and whispered back, "I can't wait to introduce the man I love to the brother I have always admired. No one ever can or ever will replace you. I love you."
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Genevieve KellyWrite a Review