As Tyler comes to, he can hear the murmuring of voices around him.He opens his eyes but the brightness of the room makes him quickly close them again. He blinks rapidly, desperately trying to get them to adjust to the light, unsure of if he was still in danger.
“You alright?”Zekeasks.“Takeit easy. You’ve lost a lot of blood.”
“Youshot me?”Tyler looks shocked beside himself where Zeke sat.
“WellI couldn’tletyou seewherewe were going.And as a bonus, you didn’t have to feel the pain in your arm.”As Zeke mentions it Tyler looks down at his wrist that was fully bandaged now, he takes a moment to actively take in his surroundings. He was in a relatively large looking doctors’office, lying on a hospital bed. Across the room was a metal trolley, no doubt packed with medical supplies, each drawer was locked and the walls were covered in lockedcupboards, presumably also full of supplies and medications. In the corner of the room, Corey wassitting at a deskseemingly filling out paperwork.
“This is where you work?” Tyler asks.
“This is the medical room, in the building I work in.” Zeke nods, looking over at Corey. “This is where Corey works his magic.”Zeke speaks louder to get Corey’s attention. He looks up from his desk and fakes a smile.
“I do my best.”Corey sighs then gets up from his desk, takes the stethoscope from around his neck and walks over to Tyler. “How are you feeling?” He asks calmly,wrapping a blood pressure cuff around his left upper arm and putting the stethoscope in his ears, pumping up the cuff while listening to the pulse inTyler’s wrist.He frowns as he listens, then takes the stethoscope out and releases the pressure on the cuff, placing two fingers acrossTyler’s wrist to feel the pulse instead.
“Am I ok?” Tyler asks him.
“Truth is it’s not too bad, but I do hope to be able to note some improvement over the next 12 hours.The cut did damage the vein so you've got internal and external stistches.” Coreypresses down on Tyler’s fingertips one at a time, holding for a few seconds the letting go and waiting. “Capillary refill isa little slow but there is still blood flow making it to your fingers so I’m not too concerned. Tell me if you can feel this?”Corey says and runs his fingers delicately over sections of Tyler’spalm, watching him nod to signify he could feel it. “There’s no numbness?” Corey asks.
“No.” Tyler shakes his head. Corey goes to the end of the bed andpulls up a folder, making notes on it.
“So you have 15 stitches in your arm, keep your arm covered anddon’t getit wet, I will change the dressings in 2 days to check on the stitches but I am going to be checking in to keep an eye on blood flow or any sign of internal bleeding or infection. How are you feeling pain wise? I gave you a small dose of amitriptyline, just in case there was nerve damage and because you were still unconscious Iwasn’t able to give you any harder pain medications but Iam going to let the pain killers come completely out of your system so I know what I need to administer.Are you having any pain or other symptoms yet that you are concerned about?” Corey asks.
“N-no. I don’t think so.” Tyler gulps, starting to look quite pale and overwhelmed.
“Ok well you can stay in here for as long as you need to but I have to go now. I will find you again in an hourunless your condition changes in which case Zeke will page me.” Corey turns and walks over to the metal trolley, wheeling it out of the room.
“Now, without having to act brave. Are you ok?” Zeke asks kindly.
“No I am not ok. Thanks for asking.” Tyler says sarcastically.
“Anything I can help you with?” Zeke moves his chair a little closer to Tyler’s bed.
“Can I ask questions yet?”
“Yes. I will answer what I can.”
“Did you lie to me about being safe?” Tyler asks in an accusatory tone. Zeke takes a moment to consider his answer then gives a shrug.
“I told you that you weren’t safe, but that you weresafer with me. There was always a risk that what happened tonight, was going to happen, though I really hoped it wouldn’t come to that.” Zeke sighs. “I’m not entirely sure how they found us...” Zeke stops as they are interrupted by a man walking in, he was dressed in a slick black suit that made him look like a movie style agent.
“Ohwe know how they found you, Zeke. Infactwe had a confession. Get out here now.” The man was clearly furious, his jaw tight as he spoke and a stern expression on his face. He didn’t even look at Tyler, and Zeke didn’t turn around to look at him either.
“Just a minute...” Zeke starts.
“I am not making any more allowances for you, this is an order. Get out here, now.” The man orders again then shuts the door. Zeke looks at Tyler and shrugs.
“That’s my boss.” He whispers to Tyler as he stands up.
“Do I have to stay here?” Tyler asks.
“Only if you want to.” Zeke shrugs.
"Your boss sounds pissed off with you already so maybe I shouldn't." Tyler sighs, looking around but feeling terrified at the idea of being left behind in here.
“Or you could think about it this way, I am already in the bad books so I am sure you tagging along won’t make a difference.” Zeke gives a cocky smile and reaches a hand out for Tyler. Tyler looks at Zeke's hand and shakes his head. He didn't trust Zeke right now, not completely. There was still too much he had to explain, and though his heart ached for comfort, he couldn't let himself just take Zeke's hand right now. Using both arms to sit himself up Tyler curse out loudly at the jarring pain that ran up his arm. “Careful.” Zeke warns.
“Yeah, thanks.” Tyler glares at him then rolls his eyes. Zeke steps forwards to help Tyler down from the bed but Tyler holds his hand up to stop him. “I can take care of myself.” He mutters. “Tell me, those things you said back at the house about me...”
“I was only trying to make you run away so you’d be safe.” Zeke shakes his head.
“I know, I’m not stupid.” Tyler snaps. “If I ran away though, would you have been safer?” Tyler asks. Zeke stays silent, giving Tyler enough of an answer. "So you can stop treating me like I'm some damsel in distress. I'm still waiting on that thank you, by the way." Tyler states stubbornly.
“You did really well tonight, but still, I'm sorry I couldn’t protect you from it better.” Zeke reaches for Tyler’s arm, Tyler's standoffish attitude softens and he lets Zeke gently hold his hand in one hand and his elbow in the other, Zeke was looking down at the bandaged part of his arm sadly. “I should have tied him up better. I should have, I should have kept him in my car.” Zeke sighs, guilt washing over his face.
“Why did he wake up so fast? You did the same thing to me and I was out of it for... How long?” Tyler asks, realizing he didn’t know how much time had passed.
“Almost an hour. You lost a lot of blood and were losing consciousness regardless, so it affected you more. People’s metabolisms and overall health as with everything, changes the effectiveness of any kind of medication.” Zeke replies, switching from being heartfelt to
“You shot him. You didn’t even flinch. He was mid-sentence and you just shot him. I thought you wanted him as a hostage.”
“He lost the privilege to live when he had a knife at your neck. I wasn’t going to risk him hurting you.” Zeke says then looks down at Tyler’s wrist again. “If I’d known he’d done this, I’d have put him in that car and burnt himali...”
“That’s barbaric.” Tyler cuts him off disgusted. “Oh god.” He clasps his hand over his mouth. “That guy in the house, I put the oven off and let him burn.” He states, looking faint at the thought of what he’d done.
“You were protecting yourself.” Zeke reminds him.
“Doesn’t matter, I hurt him, maybe killed him. Either way I put him through pain. What if he had a family? No matter what he does there’s people that are going to miss him and think I’m a monster. Maybe he had kids like me, waiting for him to come home.” The emotions of the night catching up with and starting to overwhelm Tyler.
“They would have done way worse to you if they had caught you. You think I’ve got barbaric methods in my mind, some of the things they have done to our people is beyond horrendous. You don’t have to feel bad about taking care of yourself when your life is in danger, not with them.” Zeke assures him.
“What makes you better than them? You killed people without even thinking about it, and for that matter I’ve had to just blindly trust you all this time but you could be the bad guy for all I know. All the people I let you kill, what if they were there to rescue me? When I toldthemyou had abducted me they weren’t threatening to hurt me, they believed me. They were going to take me in. They said I was going to be safe.” Tyler says, his breathing getting faster as he began panicking.
“They would have taken you in for information.” Zeke shakes his head.
“Again, something I just have to take your word for.” Tyler scoffs.
“You’re right, don’t take my word for it. Come and see for yourself.” Zeke walks over to the door and opens it, waiting for Tyler to join him. Tyler follows him, curiosity leading him out into a building that was brick walled and wooden floored. Tyler hadn't expected it to look so casual, it wasn't like he'd pictured in his mind at all. There were chandelier lights hanging from the ceiling, no windows in sight. Directly across from the room they were exiting were two elevators. The man from before was waiting outside the door for Zeke and Tyler, he glances at Tyler and shakes his head.
“He can’t come.” The man orders.
“With respect G, the last thing he needs is to be left alone in an unfamiliar environment.” Zeke states defiantly.
“It’s not your call to make, you’re not in charge here. And since you care so much about what’s best for him, maybe you could understand me not wanting him to accompany us into the black room.” G tilts his head as he holds a challenging glare on Zeke. Tyler looks between them anxiously, he could see Zeke was reconsidering with this new information.
“Excuse me, I’ve spent the night being shot at and fearing for my life, what is the black room and why wouldn’t it be good for me to see it?” Tyler asks bravely.
“You tell him.” G states.
“The black room is where we take uh, hostages, in for questioning. It’s sometimes a confronting scene.” Zeke admits. "Depending on how, compliant they are to assist us."
“Do you torture people?” Tyler asks, taking a step back from Zeke, though he could already feel that he was becoming somewhat numb to the violence he'd been witnessing.
“Yes.” G answers. “When necessary.”
“You said this person came forward. Willingly confessed right?Sowhat’s happening with them now?” Zeke asks G.
“Nothing yet, we’re waiting for you.” G answers with a confusing smile on his face. Zeke frowns at him and shakes his head. “After what you’ve done, keeping him a secret from us, endangering our entire operation here from your bleeding heart. I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing a display of loyalty, or you’ll be next.” G starts striding across the open room, there were a few men walking around in suits, that seemed to stop and look down as G passed them. Zeke takes a deep breath and follows G, a false confidence in his stride. Tyler, terrified of what he was walking into, stays by Zeke’s side. Even if he didn’t know if he could trust Zeke, he at least knew Zeke had some kind of feeling towards him, there was genuine softness and possibly even vulnerability in the way Zeke had acted when looking at his arm before, that was somewhat reassuring.
“If it gets too much, go back to the medical office and lock the door, Corey is the only one with a key so no one else will be able to approach you while you’re in there.” Zeke tells Tyler quickly as G opens the door to the black room, which was indeed, completely black inside. No light coming from it at all, no sound either it was completely ominous. Tyler’s heart was racing as he watched how calmly Zeke walked into the darkness, disappearing behind the thick dark curtains that hung in front of the door. Tyler steps inside navigating through the curtains that kept any light from the doorway from making it into the room. For a few moments they all stand in complete silence, complete darkness. The snap of a light switch that would normally blend in if it wasn’t impossibly silent in the room, makes Tyler’s blood feel like it’s running cold. Lights so bright it forces Tyler to squint and blink hurriedly trying to get his eyes to adjust to them, exposes the betrayal, the reason everyone was waiting for Zeke to make a call on what happened to the hostage.
Corey stood beside the wall, a plastic covering over his clothes and goggles over his eyes, a mask covering his mouth, with the metal trolley by his side, on the top of it was an array of surgical equipment. The wall beside him had metal cuffs holding the wrists and ankles of the man hanging from there. Tyler feels almost nauseous realizing he was standing in a room where people were tortured, and that the same man that had empathetically prescribed him anti-depressants and stitch closed his wounded arm was the one standing right beside the newest victim.
“Now do you see why I said it was up to you what we do to him?” G crosses his arms and turns to Zekewho’seyes were looking at the man trying to understand what was happening. It suddenly hits Tyler who this was, why it mattered to Zeke.
"Wyatt?" Zeke breathes, disbelief evident on his face as he looks at the heartless smirk on Wyatt's.