Chapter 2: Bruised
Disclaimer: This story is for entertainment purposes only. The characters herein are the property of J.J. Abrams, Touchstone Television, and Bad Robot.
And uncomfortable it proved to be. Sark had given him specific instructions to poke and prod every inch of her body to check for any unseen damage. Despite her protests that she was quite alright once bandaged, Dr. Rahiq was quite adamant that she was to be checked in every possible way. When the good doctor was satisfied, he stood with a sigh and began packing his things. "You now have half an hour to prepare yourself for dinner, Miss Bristow. Your wounds will need a few days to heal, especially those stitches." He started to say something, stopped and thought about it and continued anyway. "Please don't do anything foolish." And Sydney was almost touched by the true concern in his deep brown eyes for her, but she did not fool herself into thinking that it wasn't mostly for his employer.
She was irritatingly late for his planned dinner on purpose. She came down with her head held high, ignoring the appreciating glances from the staff that moved about the corridors of the, what she assumed to be, large compound. It felt strange to call it a home or to imagine Sark having a home for that matter. He stood as she entered and the formality astounded her. He was truly treating her as a guest. She didn't want to dwell on the thought so instead she gracefully seated herself in the chair that was offered to her.
He didn't begin to speak to her until the main course had been served.
"The clothes were to your liking I assume?" She looked up at him, almost startled and nodded. He gave her a curious look.
"You've never been at a lack of words around me before, Miss Bristow. Why now?" The why question. Yes Sydney, why?
"My reasons for being here are my own." He hadn't looked away from her but she was cautiously avoiding her gaze.
"You have defected. I was astounded to say the least. What did your boy scout think of that?" She held back the cringe. Composing herself she responded tersely.
"You've done your homework." She left out the fact that he was now married, he was no longer hers. The facts need not be stated when he already knew.
"I see." And then the conversation was over.
They made small talk through the rest of the dinner they shared and before he left her, he ended the night himself. "My dear Miss Bristow, thank you for the pleasure of your company this evening. You will join me for dinner again tomorrow at 8?" This was the first question he'd asked since she'd first seen him, probably since she'd met him all those ages ago.
"If you'd like." His eyebrow quirked at her response which was so classically not the Sydney Bristow he knew and his interest at her arrival was piqued.
"That would please me immensely. Until tomorrow." He did his little bow with his head again and reached out to guide her back to her room.
"There will be more time tomorrow for exploring. Dr. Rahiq demanded you get some rest right after your meal. Sleep well." And after ushering her into her room he was gone. She didn't watch which direction he disappeared into despite her curiosity. She collapsed onto the bed, exhausted by her long day that seemed to finally be taking its toll upon her less than delicate psyche.
As Sark reached his own room he was left in awe of the woman he'd encountered numerous times before. Tonight she seemed so… resigned to her fate here at his hands. As if his hospitality had shocked her into submission. The thought of Sydney Bristow submitting to anyone, especially him, made him chuckle.
He turned on his screen and found her already fast asleep. He changed into some more suitable clothes for his current task. He hadn't wanted Sydney to see him this way it might mar her already delicate view of him, although he highly doubted it. His suit was fitted, altered exactly to his specifications and he made his way down the steps and into a corridor near the rear of the building and found the door that was concealed stealthily as the wall. Upon opening the door he saw a young woman, her wavy blonde hair tied back, face bruised and a bit bloody, and eyes bloodshot and tear-stained.
"You are never to touch her again, understood?" The ice in his voice shook her to the core.
"Yes." Was her simple response.
"If you do, this will be kind as to the fate you will meet. If you ever even think of harming her, I will kill you myself." The woman nodded in her assent and he could all but smell her fear. "Now, you will be escorted out, Miss Reed and if you attempt to make contact again without going through the proper channels or you attempt to find or disclose my location, your husband will suffer a similar fate to what you got tonight and then some." He turned on his expensive heel and silently promised himself that he would work on better threats. Despite her indiscretions with him, he knew she secretly loved the Boy Scout. Threats on his life were more effective than threats on her own. The fact that she had ordered the harm that befell Sydney was proof of that.
When he came back up to his room Dr. Rahiq was waiting for him. "Doctor." He pushed open the door to his room and the physician followed him in, shutting it behind him.
"There was extensive damage sir, as I'm sure you already surmised by her bruising. She was badly beaten and there were signs of extensive deep tissue burning. She will need several days to heal. I had to stitch up four cuts that were just too bad to bandage alone." Sark held up a hand to stop him. Why was her pain suddenly so unbearable for him?
"None of it is permanent, sir. She seems very resilient. She will make a full recovery in days, possibly sooner." Sark nodded.
"I need her to think that something else went wrong. The stitches get infected, there's internal bruising, something. She needs to stay." The doctor nodded and bowing, left.