Loreli was sure she heard a door open. That was her first clue of her return to awareness. Her hands were frozen or numb. She wasn’t sure. Her teeth were chattering. She felt something brush her face. She forced her eyes open, the process seemed to take forever, still shivering, her muscles slow to respond.
Once her vision focused she was sick for an entirely different reason. Jaylen’s face blurred above her. His expression self-satisfied and smug as he stroked her cheek. She noticed the bandage wrapped around his midsection through the light shirt he wore; found herself wishing she’d stabbed him harder. It took a few moments of willing her muscles to respond, but she was finally able to turn her head and bury it in the pillow. Jaylen grabbed a fistful of her hair and forced her to look at him.
“That’s not a very warm welcome.” he chided.
Loreli managed to smile sweetly, “Then untie me and we’ll try again.”
Jaylen shook his head, “No, no, I don’t think so. I’m rather fond of you like this.”
“Sick fuck.” Loreli muttered under her breath. She shivered again, “Why… is it so cold…?”
“The fever will pass. The lethargy will not.”
“The poison…” She licked her lips, “You… you can’t keep dosing me, you’ll kill me… that seems… counterproductive.”
Jaylen shook his head, “You forget who you’re talking to.”
Loreli sighed inwardly. Poisons were one of Jaylen’s more advanced talents. This worried her greatly. “What’s in it to make it act so quickly?” She asked.
Jaylen shook his head again, “Oh no. I’m not giving up that little piece of information.”
“It’s not like I can get a hold of anything to counter-act it. I’m just curious.” She knew she wasn’t fooling him. She didn’t care, talking kept him distracted from other ventures.
“We’re not playing anymore, Lore. You lost.” He said. “Might be a good time to accept defeat and come back to SI:7. You’re mine either way.” he shrugged. “One will just be… more comfortable for you.”
To almost anyone else he would have sounded like he was gloating but Loreli caught the nervous edge in his voice. He sounded like he wasn’t entirely sure of the situation. She started cross referencing her conversation with Aiya.
Shaw wouldn’t sanction her abduction, not this late in the game. There was nothing to be gained from it. It wasn’t like they could ransom her to anyone of interest. Jaylen knew that Loreli had found out about his laundering money from Seven. He hadn’t seemed terribly surprised when Loreli had brought it up. He must have gotten the information out of Miriam. Loreli was just thankful she hadn’t passed the information to Jeb. Jaylen had killed Miriam. If he just wanted to keep Loreli quiet he could have done the same to her. He wanted to keep her alive and she didn’t have to guess why. So he was apprehensive solely because she was alive and Shaw didn’t know? That wasn’t like Jaylen.
Loreli eyed him, “Shaw doesn’t know I’m alive, does he?” she watched his expression change, “You’re defying his order to kill me.” She managed a week laugh. “I think I’d be flattered, if I weren’t, ya know, a hostage!”
“Shut up.” He said. Yet, his attention wasn’t on her, she’d gotten him thinking and there was something else. Jaylen was… afraid? She couldn’t tell if he was angry or confused about his actions. She knew it wouldn’t last. “Look, Jaylen, he won’t buy it forever. He’ll see right through you. Leave SI:7, I’ll… I’ll stay with you… willingly.”
She didn’t expect to win his trust that easily, but on the slim chance he was distracted just enough she’d try.
Did anyone know she was alive? She was sure Zha’ane at the very least would continue looking, even if all evidence suggested she was dead. Zha’ane may not even know she was missing, yet. He and Channi could still be in Darnassus and for who knows how long. Aely. Aely wouldn’t give up and if Zha’ane didn’t return before too long she’d make sure to get word to him. She didn’t even know where she was. How was anyone else supposed to find her? Jaylen wouldn’t leave an easily followed trail.
“Shut up!” He barked.
“You can’t fool him!”
“Shut UP, Lore!”
“He may already know…”
“SHUT UP, LORE!”
“HE’LL DEMAND PROOF!” She snapped.
“I’LL GIVE IT TO HIM!” Jaylen had a knife in his hand, holding it to her ear. Loreli went deathly still; this had not been part of the plan.
“You wouldn’t do that…” she breathed.
“Oh, wouldn’t I?” He asked. His voice dropped to match her volume. He moved the knife away from her ear, finding the older wound he’d left on her other thigh. He slid the blade along it, reopening the gash. Loreli winced, biting down on her lower lip to stifle a cry of pain. She tasted blood.
“He’ll know…” She gasped, “Whatever ‘proof’ you give him, he’ll know…”
He snarled at her, “Enough talking.” He covered her mouth with his hand, “There’s no need for you to talk.” He said, trailing hungry kisses along her cheek to her neck.
She closed her eyes and willed the darkness to return.
Jaylen startled her awake with a slap to the face. Loreli blinked in confusion and pain, trying to fight off the disorientation.
“Who’s Zha’ane?” Jaylen demanded.
Loreli blinked a few more times before her expression turned incredulous. “What are you raving about?”
“Zha’ane. Who is he?”
Loreli fought back the small shimmer of hope. She had no idea how long it’d been. Could Zha’ane really be close?
“Leave me alone.” She muttered, trying to turn away from him.
Jaylen leaned over her, speaking close to her ear, stroking her hair, “That’s alright, honey. You and I both know I’ll find him. I’ll be sure to give him your regards before I kill him.”