They were driving towards the headquarters for the last three and a half hours in silence. After Alex's eventless bathroom break, Sullins' eyes were fixed on the road carefully. Felicia was staring out of the window on her side, watching the passing scenery with dread. She still couldn't get the image of betrayal on Mahone's face out of her head. She felt like she was by his side every time trouble with the FBI arisen. Remorse for letting Sullins do this to Mahone using her friendship with him made her gut wrench with anguish.
Meanwhile at the back seat, Mahone was looking out for an opportunity, trying to find a place covered with thick bushes and trees, plotting his escape route. He had a rough idea where they were so hopefully he won't be getting lost in the dense woods. Removing the rod, he had stolen from the bathroom underneath his pants, he smashed the window with it. Shattered glass pooled on his clothes and around his feet. While opening the door from the outside, Alex thanked his lucky stars for leaving him uncuffed. They were probably relying on Wheeler, who was sitting beside him on the back seat. But the boy was scrawny and Mahone was trained for Special Ops. He felt Wheeler trying to grab him by the collar of his cardigan but Mahone threw himself out of the car quickly with such a force that knocked the wind out of him. He landed on his side with a thud and he could already feel the effect of impact on his right side. Mahone quickly dashed towards the thick woods, while Sullins pulled the car over in a rush. FBI agents hopped off their vehicle, readying their weapons in the process except for Agent Lang. She could hear Sullins curse loudly ahead of her.
"I knew that son of a bitch would try something. We should have cuffed him." Looking around carefully, his eyes landed on Wheeler. "What the hell were you doing while he was escaping?" Wheeler gulped distressedly. "I almost got him, Sir. He threw himself with such a force I couldn't grab onto him." Agent Wheeler's distraught features gazed up at Sullins, feeling atrocious for letting Mahone escape from his custody.
They scanned the whole terrain but still, there was no sign of Mahone. It had been nearly ten minutes, Mahone's trail was going cold. Agitated Sullins threw his arms in the air.
"Where the hell he disappeared?! He couldn't have gotten far. Wheeler, you go and search right, keep your eyes and ears open. Lang, you're on the left." ordering them around Sullins observed his surroundings, listening for anything unusual. Before Felicia could proceed in the direction Sullins ordered, crunching of a branch made her turn and head towards the noise. She refrained from giving away his location, but it was too late. Sullins' hawk-like sharp eyes already discovered his prey's, Mahone's location. He saw a figure hiding behind the stem of a tree. Without feeling any remorse for the man, Sullins aimed his Glock and took the shot without blinking of an eye.
For a while, everything seemed to slow down, Felicia blinked a few times, a distant ringing in her ears started and continued for what felt like hours to her, followed by complete silence. The whole forest, tons of souls living in it, but there was no sound. No sound at all, as if they were also grieving for him, for the man who did his best to protect his family and failed miserably. The guardian of some people, executor of others. What an irony. Felicia was frozen in place, big doe-like eyes staring with awe at Mahone's falling form. Her whole body was rigid, unable to even move a muscle fearing everything will get worse if she did. She wasn't expecting Sullins to be that blood-thirsty, there were some boundaries you don't cross, and shooting one of their own was one of them. But that man came from the States to Panama to see Mahone suffer, nothing but seeing him behind the bars would stop him. Birds flapping their wings was the only sound in the entire forest for a while.
"Good job on spotting the fugitive, Agent Lang." said Sullins patting her on the shoulder with a force more than necessary. "Next time, I expect to see your gun in your hands, not in the holster, alright?" The smile he flashed her was sardonic, yet his eyes held a glint of humor.
"How is he?" shouted Sullins in Agent Wheeler's direction who was already crouching beside Alex.
"Well, he doesn't lo-" He wasn't expecting to see Sullins rushing to their side with ferocity in his eyes. Wheeler stood up to stop the Head of Internal Affairs from doing something he would regret later, but Sullins pushed past him. Wheeler could practically see the flames roaring in his eyes, ready to ignite anything that he came in contact with. As if on cue, Sullins started kicking Mahone's stomach rapidly with all the power he could summon.
"You bastard, we're doing you a favor and that's how you thank us?" hissed Sullins while Wheeler was grabbing his arms and moving him away from Mahone. Alex was curled up in a ball holding his abdomen panting, trying to regulate his breathing. Wheeler could see how furious Sullins was, he could see it in his eyes, the tension of his muscles. Afraid of Sullins to have another fit, Lang hurried towards Alex. His chest was rising and falling rapidly, clearly he was trying to get more air into his lungs. Felicia's heart broke at the scene playing in front of her. Couldn't stand to look further, she crouched down and held Alex's head in her lap. His hacking cough shook his frail body, disentangling himself from Felicia's grip he spat crimson blood on the ground. Felicia delicately thumbed away the streak of blood by his mouth, saying nothing as she examined him.
Sullins was looking at her with disbelief in his eyes, snorting at the sight as if it were a joke to him.
"Agent Lang, I thought you were smarter than this." chuckled Sullins darkly, sending a disapproved look towards their way. Closing the distance between them, Sullins bent down and hauled Alex, lifting him up by his collar. Pained whines left Alex's mouth with the position he was forced onto, every part of his body felt like it was on fire with each movement. He tried to move away from Sullins' grasp but his trashing only made everything worse. A sharp pain spiraled through his abdomen, making him release a hiss piteously.
"You're in pain, aren't you? Does it kill you? Knowing that you can't do anything to stop me?" taunted Sullins with a sneer.
"Get away from him! I swear to God if you touch him again, I'll report you." she hissed. Felicia knew she was on dangerous ground, Richard Sullins was the Head of Internal Affairs. Just like that Sullins let go of the cardigan he was holding, making Alex's head hit the ground and leaving him gasping for breath like a fish.
"As you wish, Agent Lang." smiled Sullins stepping away from them. Wheeler also joined them to help, doing his best to flash an apologetic smile towards Felicia's direction. When they asked him before, this was the moment he had been waiting for the last few months of digging information, but now seeing blood pooling in Mahone's mouth and witnessing him having difficulty breathing, he wasn't so sure about that. Everything about once the powerful man looked defeated, worn out. A pair of glassy ocean blues stared at him blankly, not quite dozing but not quite aware either.
"He doesn't look good, Sir. I believe his lung's punctured. When he jumped off the car, we were traveling pretty fast, he fell onto his side and… taking damage before didn't go well together." observed Wheeler.
"Cracked ribs?" Sullins intervened without a worry in his tone for the man he had just shot and probably broke his ribs.
"Most probably, Sir."
"You okay?" asked Felicia trying to keep Alex awake, his lids opened for a few seconds revealing his red-rimmed eyes behind them. Glancing in her eyes with an unreadable expression mixed with pain, he forced his mind to concentrate. As he took another breath, sharp pain erupted from his chest. He tried again, but this time couldn't hold back the whimpers that accompanied the searing pain. He sucked at the air like it had suddenly become thick, almost too difficult to draw in. Alex felt Felicia's hands caressing his hair, pushing some sweaty loose strands back with her fingers. Her movements calmed his racing heartbeat down, yet he was still dizzy and disoriented.
"Don't blame y-yourself, Felicia, 'cause I don't." A wet cough left his lips with the simple effort he put into forming a sentence and transferred into a coughing fit. He hacked continously, and this alone started to worry Felicia. His coughing didn't sound healthy even for an uneducated ear like hers.
"Let's take him to the hospital. Wheeler call 911!" said Lang alarmedly. Sullins stepped in, clearly not pleased with the way Lang's been taking control of the reigns.
"What makes you think I'm taking him anywhere but prison?" drawled Sullins authoritatively. "I explicitly warned him this is exactly what'll bound to happen if he misbehaved." gestured towards Mahone's form lying on the ground. "Wheeler, apply pressure to his god damn wound. I want him to experience a real US prison this time." His lips stretched into a smile that didn't quite reach his dark eyes.
"You think David Apolskis felt like this before he died? What about Abruzzi, huh?" arched his eyebrows with interest. "You also need to feel the physical pain of your deeds, I know you're in a prison with no bars, Alex. Those pills you take shows how much of an emotional anguish you've been going through. You see, the emotional suffering has a biological purpose, to teach us away from the unhealthy patterns." he took in a deep breath as if thinking his next words carefully. Mahone's baby blues fluttered and focused on Sullins' face with determination. Alexander Mahone was not the one to back away from a fight and this man from Internal Affairs can not make him crumble. Sullins broke the heavy silence once more.
"Deny it all you want, I've been looking into your files for so long. I know the masks you wear. The twitching beneath your eyes and the shaking of your hands are the signs of you losing control over your body." he whispered. "I've appeased my conscience, Wheeler dial 911, and let's get him to a hospital." clapped his hands, walking back to the car with a content expression on his face.
Thanks for reading! :)