Chapter: Part 6
Summary: Jack is a prisoner in his own house.
Note: I might have to take a wee break from this one to get to some other fic first. But I'll get back to it as soon as I can!
Prevous chapters: One | Two | Three | Four | Five
If he could just work his way free .... Jack strained heavily at the ties that bound him to his headboard, but Ford had done too good a job.
The scent of coffee came wafting into the bedroom suddenly. He leaned back, a fit of giggles overtaking him. Ford had broken into his house, attacked him, knocked him out and tied him to the bed and now he was puttering around in his kitchen making breakfast.
The thought of food made his stomach turn. But here was Ford now, coming into the bedroom, holding a mug of coffee, watching it carefully to make sure he didn’t spill it.
“Didn’t know if you liked it black,” Ford said as he put it down on the dresser. “Didn’t have much coffee on the island.”
Jack didn’t know what to say to that. He regarded Ford carefully. He seemed sane enough, but maybe that was even more disturbing. He had taken the liberty of appropriating some of his own clothes, a black T-shirt and jeans, and they hung loosely on his thin frame.
He was almost shy as he brought the coffee mug under Jack’s mouth. “Here,” he offered. “Should help counteract that empty bottle of JD I found.”
Jack turned his head away. “I don’t want coffee. I want you to untie me right now.”
Ford sighed heavily and sat down on the bed next to him. “See, I can’t do that. I can’t trust you yet.”
“What do you want with me?” Jack asked, searching Ford’s face for any trace of empathy there.
“You’re the key to everything,” Ford said softly, his gaze so intense and hungry that Jack had to look away. His stomach was churning and a cold sweat spread along his back. “You’ve got to help me figure out what we’re doin’ here.”
Ford put his hand on his knee and Jack shivered. His head was pounding and if he didn’t get some water soon he thought he might pass out.
“They’ve done something to you, but I’m going to help you remember.” He leaned in and Jack wasn’t sure if he was going to kiss him, but he didn’t want to give him the chance. Last night was ... well, he was drunk.
“Listen, don’t take this personally, but I’m going to be sick,” Jack said quickly. “I’ve got a helluva hangover.”
Ford stopped, a frown spreading over his face. “Can’t untie you, sorry.”
“You have to. Now!” Jack could feel the bile rising in his throat. He choked on it a little and Ford, seeing this, finally seemed convinced.
“OK, hold on,” he said, hands out as if a gesture could keep down the contents of Jack’s stomach. He pulled at the knots and swore when he couldn’t immediately get them undone.
He ran out of the room and was back with the largest knife in Jack’s kitchen. Seeing the fear on Jack’s face, he grumbled, “For the ties, dummy.”
Jack nodded in relief. With the sharp blade, Ford made quick work of the ties -- Jack felt a pang to see one Sarah had given him sliced in half -- and then helped him up. He nodded in the direction of the bathroom and Ford guided him there, one hand on his back.
After making sure the door couldn’t lock from the inside, he left him alone in the bathroom until the sounds of Jack’s retching had stopped. But he was back in the second everything was quiet. Jack stood up wearily, eyeing the knife still in Ford’s hand.
“Feelin’ better?” Ford asked, leaning against the door.
“A little,” Jack lied, wiping his mouth and deciding not to mention the troubling dizziness. Better not to let Ford know how much of an advantage he had. He reached to open the medicine cabinet but Ford stepped over quickly, stopping him.
“Hold on there,” he said, “what do you want?”
“Alka-Seltzer,” Jack sighed. “I don’t keep a gun in there or anything.”
Ford actually laughed. “Jus’ bein’ careful, doc.” He handed Jack the blue box. “C’mon, I’ll get you a glass of water.”
“Yeah, I know where the glasses are, thanks.”
“How ‘bout some mouthwash?” Ford suggested, handing him a bottle from the counter.
“Thanks,” Jack muttered as he took it. He swished some around and then spit and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “You know I was really drunk last night, right?” he said coolly, in case Ford had any ideas about trying to kiss him again.
“Yeah, I know,” Ford said and there was that trace of sadness again that cut through him. He had to remind himself that he had to be on guard against him, that he was dangerous, but something about him just seemed so helpless. Except for that knife, of course, which Ford still gripped tightly.
He gestured with it for Jack to walk ahead of him and he shrugged and walked back into the bedroom and, glancing back at Ford, headed towards the kitchen, hand trailing along the wall for support.
He got a glass out of the cabinet and filled it with water, plopping two Alka-Seltzer tablets in. He watched them dissolve, not wanting to look up at Ford, who hovered about a foot behind him. He drank the fizzy water in one gulp. It helped. He could use about eight hours of real sleep and a shower, but for now, he just leaned against the kitchen counter, trying to plan his next move, work through the fog in his brain.
He contemplated making a break for the front door but it seemed ridiculously far away. And he still felt the aches from being tackled last night and from a night of sleeping -- if you could call being slugged on the head sleeping -- in such an awkward position, his back was killing him. Before he did anything else, he needed to stretch.
He brought his elbows chest high and swung his arms rapidly to the side. Before he could move to the other side, Ford had his arm behind his back and had shoved him up against the refrigerator.
“Don’t try it,” Ford whispered in his ear, giving his arm a cruel twist. Even though Jack outweighed him by maybe 15 lbs, Ford was armed and he wasn’t.
“Hey! Hey! I was just stretching,” Jack protested, reminding himself that despite James’s hangdog air, he wasn’t the least bit helpless.
Ford seemed to consider Jack’s words but he didn’t move right away. He stayed pressed up against Jack, his breath hot on his neck and Jack shivered to think what was going through his mind. Ford’s fingers dug into his wrist with surprising force.
Finally, he let him go and Jack rubbed his arm, glaring at him all the while.
“Sorry,” Ford said with an indifferent shrug. “I thought you were havin’ a go at me.”
“Well, I wasn’t,” Jack sighed. “My back’s in bad shape after being tied to a bed all night. And my head isn’t in much better condition,” he rubbed the back of his head gingerly. “What did you hit me with anyway?”
“Same lamp you were gonna hit me with. You hit me first, you know.” There was an amused smile on Ford’s face now he didn’t like.
“Yeah, well, you broke in here and tackled me. What did you think I’d do?”
“I don’t know. Kiss me hello?” Ford was smirking now and Jack couldn’t help flushing.
“I told you. I was drunk.” He glared, hoping to cover his embarrassment.
“Right.” The smirk deepened, if that was possible.
“Look, people will be missing me,” Jack said, crossing his arms, grateful to be able to lean back against the fridge. It wasn’t true, he realized as he said it. When he didn’t show up today, well, no one would be surprised after he’d stormed out of the hospital and essentially revoked his own license. A better man would come in and wrap things up, but disappearing under those circumstances wasn’t cause for a 911 call.
There was no wife, no girlfriend, no close friends, no parents to notice him gone. And in this big house, set back from the road behind a high fence, who would notice whether he was home or not?
“So who exactly will be lookin’ for you?” James asked, cocking an eyebrow and Jack went cold, wondering if he could read his mind. How else had he known about his tattoos anyway? But then he dismissed the idea as ridiculous. It all made sense somehow. It had to.
“My secretary will call when I don’t come in,” Jack insisted, chin up, daring James to contradict him.
“So then you’ll tell her you had a bad night. You’re not feelin’ well. Were you gonna go into work like that?”
Jack sighed and dropped his gaze. James had him there. He wouldn’t tie one on like that if he had to work the next day. At least, James would know that if he really knew him the way he claimed to.
Jack’s head hurt. He didn’t want to think about it anymore. A wave of dizziness hit him. He felt himself sliding down the slick surface of the refrigerator and before he could grab onto something, Ford had a hold on him, Jack’s momentum pulling them both to the floor.
“Ice,” he said, his own voice sounding hollow and far away and Ford nodded. After making sure Jack was propped up safely against the cabinets, he rummaged around the freezer and produced a bag of frozen peas.
He knelt down and held it behind Jack’s head, having to practically climb into Jack’s lap to do it.
“Thanks,” Jack managed to say as the dizziness ebbed “I think I might have a concussion.” No point in keeping up appearances now he’d almost fainted. “Can you check my pupils for me? See if they’re the same size?”
James nodded and looked hard into his eyes. The last time he’d been this close to him, James had kissed him. That first time, Jack hadn’t had time to see the green specks in those eyes. Were they green or blue? Either way, he felt like he could stare at them for hours. He was still trying to figure out their exact color when James nodded.
“Yeah, seems OK.” His voice was husky.
“Might just be he hangover,” Jack said, letting his eyes close and his head fall back against James’s hand and the coolness there. “But just to be safe, you can’t let me go to sleep again. OK? You have to keep me talking.”
“Sure, doc. What should we talk about?”