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Story Notes:
Beta by the amazing Foxriverinmate.
Mention of sexual relations between Lincoln and Gretchen.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This is our new novel! Be prepared that this is a little darker than our 'Touch' series.
Alex felt the blood rush in his head. His heart was beating like a drum, but the only thing he was thinking about was how to get away. He knew he wouldn’t have a prayer in court. Not like he was now. Nobody would believe, or trust, an addict.

Not to mention that Sullins would rip him apart as soon as he found out that the agent he’d accused of corruption was one-step further down the road.

So he’d escaped through the hotel window. He’d felt bad for Lang for a moment, but he had to think of himself first.

A junkie. He was a junkie. His hands were shaking, sweat running down his back. Where was he? He had been running. He’d fallen, hands chafed. He’d almost run into a market, but turned into an alley as soon as he realized he was heading into a mass of people.

The alley. He was still there. He smelled vomit and something else that mixed with the stench. He wasn’t sure if it was his own or the odors from the alley itself. He tried to focus and keep a clear head, but it was damned hard when all he wanted, needed, were his pills. He curled up, exhausted and in pain.

“Mahone,” somebody growled. He knew that voice. He directed his shaking body to it as he was suddenly hoisted up and slammed against the wall. “I thought I saw you slithering in here. You’re out?! You fucking bastard!” Just what he needed; Lincoln Burrows.

“Some water.” His throat felt like cardboard.

“I don’t fucking care.” To emphasize he didn’t, Burrows landed a fist in Alex’s stomach. Alex doubled over in pain, but he couldn’t for long. The hand was back around his throat, tightening, but he didn’t have the strength to fight it so he closed his eyes, his hands feebly touching Burrows’ as his tears fell.

“What the hell-” Burrows demanded, face close to Alex, using the rest of his bulk to keep Alex plastered against the wall, holding him prisoner, supporting him.

Alex could smell something like garlic… it made him sick. On the other hand, maybe it was just how much he craved what he didn’t have.

“You’re on drugs?!” Burrows asked incredulously. Alex laughed or at least he thought he did. It sounded pathetic.

“Not anymore.” He should be in a panic, but he couldn’t begin to care. What else could he do? He was in no condition to fight this man. Lincoln Burrows had been unable to kill him before, but Alex was smart enough not to depend on that again. On the other hand, strangling a man was very personal. It made it so very real.

Then real laughter sounded, bitter, sarcastic. It wasn’t his own. “Oh this is fantastic. Did you do this to yourself or did somebody shoot you up in Sona? And since we’re on that subject, how did you get out?” The hand had loosened around his throat. Strange he hadn’t felt it when that happened.

He opened his eyes to look at Burrows’ face. “FBI came to get me; I jumped bail so to speak.”

Burrows’ eyes narrowed. “Looking for a hit?” Alex couldn’t deny it even though he wanted to. “I really want to kill you… but first you’re going to give me some information.” Burrows looked around and was seemingly satisfied with what he saw. “Behave, act like nothing’s wrong.”

Alex didn’t know what the other man expected. Why would he listen to a man who threatened to kill him after he’d got what he wanted? “Why should I?” he rasped.

“Because I know what it’s like and I can make you suffer a lot worse than you are now.” Burrows spoke loudly in his ear.

Alex complied with his wishes mainly because he didn’t know what else to do.
~~~~~~

He didn’t know how long they’d walked. He stumbled a few times, but Burrows had an arm around his waist steadying him whenever he almost fell.

“You’re going cold turkey, aren’t you?” Burrows had asked him during their walk.

“None of your-“ he didn’t finish that sentence as a painful spasm wrecked his exhausted body.

Again the laugh; it sounded cruel to Alex’s ears. Then again, he probably deserved to be mocked by someone like Burrows. “Oh yeah, you’re going cold turkey all right.”

Burrows said nothing else and got him into a rickety car.
Alex vaguely wondered where Burrows got the money for it, but then again, the man was a criminal; he’d probably stolen it. The ride made him even sicker and he almost threw up. However, he kept his dignity; little there was left of it, intact.

After some time, they stopped in front of a rundown house in the middle of the woods. Trees and foliage surrounded it, almost hiding it from his eyes. Burrows dragged him out of the car, to the wooden door and kicked it open. It looked more like a small shack inside. Nothing much was in it and a persistent moldy odor made it even less appealing. This place hadn’t been used in a long time.

“Nobody is going to find you here. Now sit down” Burrows pushed him down on a chair and hit him out of the blue with a left hook. He almost fell off from the sheer force of it, pain blossoming in his jaw.

Burrows disappeared to the back for a moment, but Alex knew he wouldn’t make it two steps to the door. He felt an almost basic instinct for survival, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to live more than he wanted to die. He just needed one of them; his pills.

Burrows was back, carrying rope.

“Can you-” Alex tried, hating himself for what he wanted to ask.

“No I can’t, not yet.” Burrows voice sounded softer somehow; maybe it was because he was behind Alex tying him up with rope. “What did you take?”

Like hell Alex was going to answer that. Burrows would use it against him. Alex knew he would. All of them only wanted to hurt him. What had he been thinking going along with this man?

“What the hell did you take, Mahone?” Burrows was back, right in his face. “Hey!” A slap to his right cheek rattled his brain.

Alex hissed, “Fuck off,” in return.

Burrows smiled, growled, “If you want to get rid of what you’re feeling, that rollercoaster, you’re going to tell me right now.”

Alex was getting cold, his arms cramped already from the tight rope around him. He felt out of control and it scared him. “Midazolam” he said without fully realizing his mouth had betrayed him.

“Good. I’ll be back soon. Maybe I’ll bring you some candy,” Burrows mocked him, opened the door and then disappeared.

The next few hours were pure agony. The sun was setting, which was actually a good thing because the light hurt his eyes, but other than that… he couldn’t defend himself and his shaking made him unable to try and get loose. He was cold, so cold and every part of his body hurt. He was positive he could hear something nearby, but nobody ever entered. He felt like laughing and crying at the same time and counting didn’t help. His fevered mind lost count several times, so he gave up.

He had to focus; control was everything, even the last shred he could dig up. “It’s a rainy night in Georgia-” he started to sing. His voice was raw, his throat hurting beyond words, but he could do this. He could sing this song.

The darkness around him descended, but his renewed focus gave him a steadfast mind. Every word came streaming out and he sang the entire song from beginning to finish. Five seconds after the end, he began again.
~~~~~~

“Mahone!” Somebody kicked against his chair and if not for the ropes he would have fallen off. He still felt awful and his vision was blurry. “I’ve got you something,” a loud, raw voice said.

“Thank you, please-” He whispered, unable to speak loudly. He looked at the dark shape that must be Burrows walking in front of him. Then a light appeared, a candle maybe.

“You want some water with it?” Burrows said gruffly in stark contrast to the kindness he was offering.

“Yes-” Burrows came closer and two thick fingers holding a pill wormed their way past Alex’s lips. He didn’t even care if the man had washed his hands. Alex tasted salt from Burrow’s fingers and then felt the pill on his tongue. Oh God.

The fingers were already out of his mouth and a glass was at his lips. His head was pulled back none too gently and he drank what he could, almost choking but relishing the feeling of water.

“That’s it, nothing more or you’ll get sick.” Burrows said as he pulled the glass away much too early. Some moisture spilled on Alex’s chin and clothes.

“What do you care?” Alex rasped.

Burrows leaned towards him. “I don’t want you to choke on your own vomit yet.” He then walked to the other side of the room, sat down and watched him.

Alex closed his eyes and let the pill do its job. He just hoped it was the right one. It soon took effect. It wasn’t nearly enough and he was left craving more, but at least it took the edge off. He was able to focus a bit more and the pounding in his head disappeared. Finally, the state of his body wasn’t his all consuming worry anymore. About nine feet in front of him was Burrows, peering at him. A candle outlining his features, but not showing much more. A few more candles were scattered around the cabin, giving it a ghostly, eerie feeling. Whoever thought candles only brought romance was wrong.

“Does anyone know I’m here?” he asked; voice still raspy. He really needed more water.

“No.” Burrows groused. He seemed angry about something, but then again he had plenty of reason to be just that.

“What are you planning to do with me?” Alex rasped again.

“Starting to get worried, Mahone?” It probably should have sounded teasing, but somehow there was no real sting in it. Burrows’ heart wasn’t in it, it seemed. Maybe that could be an advantage.

“You don’t kill and killing me like this would be an execution, one more notch up from *just* killing somebody.” Alex tried to reason with him, but Burrows just snorted.

“You don’t think I got the balls to squeeze your throat?”

Alex tried to smile as he suppressed a chilly shiver. “Oh I think you’ve got balls, but it doesn’t take balls to kill.”

His captor stood and walked towards him. “And you should know; isn’t that right, Mahone?”

He inclined his head, feeling sorrowful all of a sudden. He looked towards the flame and for a moment, he thought he saw David Apolskis staring back at him. “Yes, I should know.” He said softly.

Burrows stood close to him now, big frame darkened because what little light they had was behind him. “How’s Michael?” It sounded sad, but eager. It gave Alex an upper hand he didn’t really want to take.

“Angry, afraid, pigheaded.” His lips and tongue moved without consulting his brain again. Control was slipping away as fast as it had come.

“Can he do it in time?” Burrows continued. Presumably he meant breaking out.

Alex couldn’t let that one lie. “Losing faith in your brother, Burrows?” Just like the first time, he didn’t see the fist coming, but his jaw felt the imprint and his head was still ringing as Burrows was pacing on the other side of the room, as far away from Alex as he could be.

“Don’t you try to use any of your fucking tricks, Mahone.”
Burrows was angry again, an emotion Mahone was more comfortable with. He understood it and he could use it.

“I’m not using any tricks,” he whispered, because every word hurt his throat some more.

Burrows was beside him with a few steps, crossing the room in two seconds, invading Alex’s personal space. “Just so you realize. If you go back on the streets you’re dead. Cops are looking for you, Company probably too and you’re an addict. How long do you think you’ll survive alone?”

The closeness of Burrows’ face to Alex’s should probably invoke some emotion in him, but it didn’t. He didn’t feel afraid, disgusted… nothing. “How long will I survive in here?” He asked.

Burrows ground his teeth, blew out the candles and left Alex in total darkness.
~~~~~~

He woke up and was amazed he had actually fallen asleep in that agonizing position. He’d lost the feeling in his hands some time during the night after pins and needles wreaked havoc in his entire body. The chair was hard and unforgiving, the darkness closing in on him and bringing him waking nightmares. There was a bird outside, chirping. Light shone through small openings in the wood and from underneath the curtain that was hanging in front of the lone window. Thank God night was over.

The door opened with a bang; Burrows was back. Alex regarded the man with irrational fear as another tremor shook his body. “I didn’t mean to kill your father.” He could hardly hear himself. His voice was almost gone.

Burrows didn’t show any emotion on his face except for his eyes, which showed unimaginable pain. “If you want to live longer you won’t say anything even close to being connected to my father, got that?”

Alex nodded.

Burrows opened the small bag he had with him and took out a bottle of water and a small box. Opening it he took out another small pill and Alex’s heart almost leapt out of his chest.

“Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not your drug dealer; it stops the moment I get what I want from you,” Burrows said stiffly as he stood in front of him, water in one hand and the pill in the other. Alex wanted to say something, but Burrows just continued, “open wide.”

Alex did what was asked and again the fingers put the pill in his mouth. Burrows then opened the bottle and put it against Alex’s lips. He tried to swallow as much as he could as he felt the pill going down, hopefully doing what it needed to do fast. It was over too quickly and tears sprang into his eyes from the forceful intake of the blessed liquid. Burrows was moving away, putting the bottle on the table.

Suddenly, out of the blue, Burrows asked, “what would you do in a hostage situation?”

The question threw him. “What?”

Burrows turned; eyes blazing, somehow furious. “You heard me, asshole. What would you do?”

Alex felt the drugs entering his system and looked the man in the eye. He thought about what he had said yesterday and realized that yeah, if he played his cards right, Burrows might very well be his best bet of getting out alive.

“Contact the criminal, the hostage taker, first.”

Burrows shook his head. “Yeah I know; no dice there. “

Alex was getting curious now. Burrows had somebody in trouble. Couldn’t be Michael. The kid then? Didn’t he hear Michael say something about that in Sona? “When communication with the hostage taker doesn’t work you find out why they did it. Why did they take the hostages, make a profile and play with that.” It still hurt to talk, but his voice was a bit louder now.

Burrows didn’t answer immediately and his eyes wandered everywhere but at Alex. He was thinking. Alex wished he knew what about.

“How are your hands?” He asked completely avoiding the previous subject.

“Can’t feel them anymore.” Alex replied.

It was silent again and Burrows looked at him in that eerie manner of his. The one where you didn’t know if he was going to attack you and beat you into a pulp or deflate and sit. Then, the strangest thing happened; Burrows untied him. “You’re no used to me without hands,” he said.

Alex wanted to rub his hands, but found he couldn’t. “Why this sudden turn of generosity?” he whispered as the half-empty water bottle was placed next to him.

“I’ve got a problem and you’re going to help me solve it.” Alex cocked his head in question and Burrows let out a mockery of a laugh. “Yeah, seems like I am desperate doesn’t it? They killed Sara, if that means anything to you, and they’re going to kill my son.”
Chapter End Notes:
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