"This is the path you chose. You don't mess with me and get away with it!"
I gritted my teeth as I backed further into the room, keeping space between myself and him. Eyes constantly darting from one part of the room to the other from behind my mask. Looking for a weapon. Any weapon. I knew he was stronger than me. Even in my peak, he'd been stronger than me... but I had been faster. In that moment, I hadn't even had that on my side. He'd be faster than I was then. I knew that. I knew it. And I had to fist my hands at my side to force them not to tremble. Not to show that weakness.
Never... to show weakness.
"We're working for a creature without a face and you're going to complain about some simple mind games? That is what you brought Ronan into, David. You. Sue me - I gave him a crash course. And a kind one at that. It's part of the GAME, David. Did you really think you could shelter him from it? Do you think you still can? There's no point. None!"
He laughed. Demeanor a little too casual. Covering up that burn beneath... "Little shadow, I refuse to let your fear prevent me from creating happiness. Which is possible. Which I've been fairly successful in making. Do not try to justify you getting in the way of my work by saying that I reach for an impossible goal. Because I don't."
"You're as blind as ever, I see. Flowers don't grow in cesspools, David. And that's what this is. That's what my life is and what your life is and anyone else that comes within throwing distance of His Game. It's a cesspool. A cesspool of suffering and insanity that taints even the purest intentions black. Its poison. It deforms, infects, mutilates... and I thought your fiance should realize that before following you down the black, blood-soaked Path. I had a spouse too, David. There's nothing 'happy' to be had there. I'm sorry. But Father doesn't allow it. It's not our place."
He stepped forward. His hand raising to tilt my chin upwards. Smiling at me. "So many things grow in cesspools. It's a shame you're only interested in flowers."
I batted the hand away. Trying to keep my nerves beneath the surface and only show annoyance. Shoulders stiffening. "Yes, well, I've had more than my fill of plague and disease, darling. However, if that's what floats your boat... then by all means. Do a cannonball. I gave Ronan advice from one simple soul to another. He didn't take it. Simple as that. I 'lost' that one. Enjoy it while it lasts. And, for your sake, I hope it does." I made to move around him.
He blocked me off. "It's sweet that you pretend to care." And then he closed distance. Stepping forward so that we were almost touching. That smile - those eyes - telling more than what I cared to read as his voice lowered. Nearly whispering. "You shouldn't be so frightened, you know. You might even enjoy it."
I could feel myself bristling. Anger building beneath the calm front, barely contained. "No, David. I sincerely doubt I would. I don't deny that you're an... attractive enough man. And your... experience is no doubt... full on the topic. However... I believe I'd sooner enjoy a lobotomy than what's working through that special mind of yours at this instant. You've made your point. Now enough is enough. Try it... and, I swear in the name of the Slender Man Himself... that you better make damn sure I'm dead when you're done. Otherwise, I promise you... I'll spend the rest of my life tearing that 'Happiness' of yours apart."
And, it was in that instant, his entire demeanor changed. He stopped smiling... and that near venomous edge of his presence seemed that much more potent. There was a bare inch between us... and I could sense what was coming the same way one can feel a storm in the air just before it hits. His voice was low. Dark. Carrying every shred of intent of what he planned to do next.
"Perhaps I would have stopped... but not now."
He grabbed at me.
I snapped my fist into his jaw. It hit, but with far less strength than what I needed as I ducked low. Throwing my shoulder down as I tried to sprint around him. Tried to get to the door. And I felt an omnious sickness rise in me when his hand closed on my arm. Twisting it near to the point of dislocation. I cringed down.
"You spout so much so called wisdom about our situation, but you know absolutely nothing about pain. You will though."
His fist crushed into my own jaw. His wedding ring tearing my lip as my body twisted that little bit more... and I bit back the pain as my arm did dislocate. The world hazed over in my mind... and then it suddenly spun. I was thrown on the bed.
I scrambled to get up.
Scrambled to get off.
Yelling at him.
"Pain?! You think I don't know PAIN?! Goddamn you, David, what the hell do you take me for?!"
"I take you for a fool who has threatened what I love once too often."
He grabbed me from my struggles. Forcing me down onto my back as he came over me. Straddling me. Removing my mask in the same motion that he forced a kiss onto my mouth. His hips grinding to mine as his hands explored the map of scars and healing injuries under my clothing. Fingers digging through bandages and scabs to push deep into wounds. Tearing them wider. His mouth eating at my neck as my body trembled against each invasion. Biting my tongue against the pain to choke back any admittance of it until it was bleeding in my mouth. My good arm trying and failing to shove him off even as his free hand, having been familiarizing himself with the pattern of scars over my skin, followed one right to the edge of my pants. My belt. And I felt him... begin to loosen them off.
I went for his eyes.
I kicked and thrashed and clawed. Struggling to gain even an inch of difference. An inch of advantage... but his weight over mine wouldn't allow it. Wouldn't even humor me to it. Eventually, he got tired of the attempt and squashed it. Backhanding me as if I was not but a disobedient whore... and then flipped me over onto my stomach. Pinning my arms beneath me and forcing me down onto my bad shoulder that screamed with the pressure of it. His body over mine as I screwed my eyes shut. Forcing back the pain with ragged gasps. Sweating from the struggle. Exhausted from it already. I tried to yell out, but his hand slapped over my mouth. His other... returned to its former duty before... making use of the room it had made. Feeling... lower. Feeling... me.
I hated him.
I wanted to shred him. The rage that surged through my system being the only thing that kept me from going comatose with exhaustion and injury. My heart and head pounded so hard I couldn't even hear the ruckus out in the hall as David purred about "now knowing The Big Secret". I forced my weight onto my bad shoulder and threw my elbow backward. I hit him, but if he noticed, he didn't pay attention. Too focused, perhaps, on molesting me to care about something so minor. So I bit his hand. He saw it as an invite to put his fingers into my mouth. So I bit harder. Tasting blood. Hoping it possible to bite someone's fingers off... and his response was with a laugh that I felt rumble in his chest more than I actually heard. Dark and purposeful. Full of intent... and loving the struggle. The Fight. Loving every damn second of it...
And I felt... all that I didn't want begin to press against my thigh. A reality that I couldn't accept. Wouldn't accept. Screaming in my head of how I didn't get this far only to fall this low. How I didn't work this hard - give up this much - to lose control now. How I hadn't SURVIVED the goddamn PLAGUE DOCTOR just to get raped by DAVID FUCKING BANKS!
I heard yelling. Pounding at the door. Doorknob twisting, but hitting the lock.
"DAVID! DAVID, OPEN THIS DOOR! DAVID! SAM, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?! GODDAMMIT, DAVID, DON'T DO THIS! PLEASE!"
David froze at the voice, and I saw my chance. Taking it before I lost it. Yelling out. Yelling back to Joseph. Pleading for him to help me. To stop him.
"SAM! DAVID, STOP THIS! SAM'S STILL RECOVERING! YOU'RE GOING TO KILL IT! DAVID, PLEASE! LISTEN TO ME! DAVID! DAVID!"
I felt it pull through the assassin like an electric jolt... and then, just like the flip-of-a-coin change I witnessed in him when I had threatened his "happiness".... his demeanor flipped again. That dark burn I'd felt before suddenly lessened. Withdrew. And, as though in mockery of all my previous struggles, he was off me. Leaving me where I lay without a single glance back as his attention focused completely on the door and he who was on the other side. I suppose he wasn't too concerned about me going anywhere. Especially with one screwed-up arm...
He called back to "Joseph". Speaking in a tone that sounded nearly soothing. Telling him to calm down. Making a small comment about how naturally he was using my real name. Going on about how "close" we must have become in such a short while. Assuring that he understood that "Joseph" was concerned... but that "Joseph" himself didn't understand. David spoke through the door to tell him that I deserved all that I was getting. Telling him that I had taken advantage of the situation before with Ronan... so it was only fair for him to take advantage of my situation now. That I've threatened them for the last time. That it was time I learned my... "place".
I could plainly hear "Joseph's" response from where I was. Just trying to be a quiet as I could. As still as I could. Just to let him handle it. Handle David. I stayed on the bed clutching my arm... repeating to myself that Winston would fix it. That he would stop it. He would know what to say. He would...
"...We're friends. Allies. David, please. Most of the blood you're spilling is mine. By all rights, Sam should be dead right now. If you do this, you'll erase everything. Everything I did. Everything I've done to keep Sam alive will be for bloody-well NOTHING! Sam's body won't take this. Its HEART won't take it!"
David began to pace. Arguing back. Nearly growling that I had to be taught that the people he cared for were not pawns to be used to my benefit. That, if he didn't - if he let me go - I'd do it again. And he wouldn't allow that. Noting the possibility that I could pull the same trick with "Joseph" himself. Justifying himself by saying that, if he had to "break" me to make sure I didn't hurt those that mattered to him, then that would be exactly what he would do. That he would take whatever he needed from me - whatever was important to me - to reduce me to nothing. And then only let me back up when HE said so. Making it well known to EVERYONE that HE wasn't to be double-crossed. And if "sex" (rape) was the tool to get to me... to "clip its wings"... then he was well within his right to enjoy it.
It mystified me at the time... how little the man understood my thinking.
And yet... the reply was silence and, for a moment, I feared Winston to have left me to my fate... but soon that voice came back. Quieter. But just as strong. "...No. No, this... I swear to God, David... if you do this... I won't love you anymore. It'll be over between us. Do you understand? It'll be OVER!"
From my spot, I watched, nearly astounded, as the physical presence of David Banks visibly shrank down. Stiff shoulders lowering as he put his forehead against the door. Eyes closing for a few seconds... and then opening slightly to turn that gaze back to me. I stiffened across from it, but otherwise didn't move. It was quiet then. Everything was. Except for my heart pounding against my chest with such force that I felt the beat in my ears. I recognized the look I saw in David in that moment. The look that smothered what had once been excitement and lust edged in justification and anger. It was disappointment. The same look I remember seeing on Leo's face from time to time when he'd be clutching a new toy to his chest at the store and Alex or I said he couldn't take it home. To put it back.
It was a highly disturbing comparison.
It turned my stomach.
I heard "Joseph" whisper something on the other side of the door, but my attention was too focused on that expression... before David seemed to make up his mind. There was something in his eyes then. Something that was telling me how lucky I was that Winston liked me. Telling me... how I didn't owe just my life to him anymore. That I should find a way to repay him... and not forget that Winston was the only thing that stopped David from having me. Warning me to watch my step and mind the trust that had been put in me... because, if I twisted it and broke it, he would be back to finish what he started.
And, yes, he would enjoy it far more than I would.
Then he turned away from me.
Unlocked the door.
And stepped out.
As casually as someone would leave a grocery store.