Chapter 20: Waltz With The Devil

There was something painful digging into the small of his back. His right shoulder ached something fierce. It felt like it had been smashed in with a sledgehammer. Logan wanted to open his eyes. Figure out what the hell was going on. Why his head felt like it had expanded to twice, if not five times, its normal size

“Wakey, wakey, runt,” a deep voice snarled.

Suddenly it all came flooding back to him. The van, crashing his bike, the tree, the huge blonde guy with the mountain reject coat.

“Noooo....” Logan moaned, sluggishly rolling himself onto his side.

“Good, you’re awake,” the blonde guy said, grabbing hold of the back of Logan’s shirt and hauling him to his feet.

By this time, Logan managed to get his right eye open. The left one refused to open one little bit. It was as though it was swollen shut. Probably due to the huge tree branch he’d received up-side the head.

While he was struggling to get his bearings and figure out what the hell was going on, the larger man lifting first his right hand above his head, fastening it in some thick metal handcuff. As soon as that was finished, he moved onto Logan’s right arm. Logan screamed loudly as the arm was lifted, shifting his shoulder painfully.

“Shut the fuck up,” the other man hissed, punching Logan hard in the stomach as soon as he had his right arm locked above his head. “I don’t feel like listening to you screeching like a baby. Your baby, to be exact.”

That caught Logan’s attention right away. “What. The fuck. Are you. Talking. About,” Logan wheezed, struggling to get some air back into his lungs.

“Seems like your little girlfriend went into labour when she found out what happened to you,” he growled, grinning deviously at Logan. “Betcha she’s had the kid by now.”

As Logan processed what the other man just said, he felt like someone had ripped his heart out. Marie was in labour, had probably already had the baby, and he wasn’t there. He had missed seeing their first child born. Somehow that hurt worse than the whatever the blonde guy had done to him. He had missed the most important day of his and Marie’s lives.

“Why the fuck are you doing this?” Logan demanded, glaring at the man who had captured him. “Did you just decide to fuck up my life ‘cause you were bored?”

“So you really don’t remember me, do you, runt? Guess I must of fucked up your brain pretty good when I drove you off the road last year,” the blonde mused, fishing something out of his inside pocket. Logan’s wallet. He opened it and removed Logan’s driver’s license, holding it out for him to see. “Logan Brenden Hunters. Where the fuck did you come up with a name like that? It’s almost as bad as your old one. Morgan Vance I could respect, but Logan Hunters? Really, Vance? Couldn’t you have thought of something more original and less like a pussy?”

“Who the hell are you and why are you calling me Morgan Vance?” Logan demanded, doing his best to ignore the throbbing pain that was radiating through his entire body.

“You’re Vance, fucker,” the other man told him. “At least you were before you got friendly with a tree trunk. Now you’re a pansy ass who can’t fight his way out of a paper bag. It probably would have been better if you’d just died the last time I ran you off the road. Woulda saved me the trouble of tracking you down.”

“Look, I don’t know who the fuck you are so let me go now, asshole! Whatever problem you and I had doesn’t matter anymore ‘cause I sure as hell don’t remember it anymore,” Logan tried to rationalize, pulling futilely at the shackles which were holding him upright. He stopped abruptly when the pain in his shoulder flared up again.

The guy stalked up to him, curling his long finger around Logan’s neck and gave it a painful squeeze. “You took away my life, Vance. Because of you, I’m on the run for the rest of my life. That doesn’t change just ‘cause your brain got scrambled. So I’m taking my revenge whether you remember or not.”

“Do I get to know what it is I’m supposed to have done?” Logan muttered, resigned to the fact that he was temporarily screwed. “Seeing as how it is the reason that I’m being chained up by a maniac while my fiancée is having our child?”

“I ain’t no maniac. The name’s Creed and I’m an smuggler,” Creed informed him with a glare. “You fucked me over. I took you in, made you part of my crew, and you sold me to the cops. That tends to piss a guy off. And since running your head into a tree didn’t work, I’ve decided to take a more personal approach. But this ain’t gonna be a quick thing, runt. Oh no. I wanna make you suffer before I finally kill you. Starting with this.”

Creed struck quick, catching him in the ribs with a set of brass knuckles that covered his fingers from the knuckle to the first joint. Even though Logan didn’t want to, he still screamed loudly at the blow. He wanted to curl up and protect his body from Creed’s fists, but his present situation left him unable to do so.

“Hope you like your accommodations, Vance, ‘cause you’re never leaving here,” Creed snarled, backing out of the room.

Alone now, Logan began to struggle against the chains that held him up. His shoulder ached something fierce. Logan was beginning to think that he’d thrown it out of joint when he hit the tree. He glanced about the room, trying to get a fix on his surroundings. What he saw didn’t help to build any confidence.

The only way in or out of the room was the door that Creed had just closed. There were no windows or other doors. The walls, floor and ceiling were all made of concrete which was also bad. That meant the only place he could get out was through the door. That was assuming he actually got out of the chains.

In his present condition, Logan didn’t see that happening any time soon. He could only see out of one eye, his shoulder was completely out of whack and his ribs felt like they were at least bruised. And that wasn’t even including the thick chains that held him up so that he could barely stand flat-footed on the ground.

“I can do this. It can’t be this hard to get outta here,” Logan mumbled to himself as he wrapped his hands around the chains and began pulling down.

Even when his shoulder fell like it was going to fall off, Logan continued pulling. The chains were held up very well, though. The bolt that held them in place didn’t so much as budge no matter how much Logan yanked on it. Even when he let his legs buckle, allowing his wrists to bear all his weight, nothing happened. Well, something did happen, but not to the chain.

Logan felt the abused muscles in his right shoulder straining, nearly causing him to black out. His vision was blurry and Logan felt suddenly nauseous Deciding that he couldn’t do anything for the time being, Logan stood himself back up, trying to find the most comfortable position. There wasn’t one so Logan settled for finding the position that brought the least amount of pain.

Now Logan’s attention was focused on the information he had learned from Creed. His real name for one.

Morgan Vance.

It seemed odd, knowing that he had a different name. That he could find out about his forgotten past from the psychopath Creed. Logan wasn’t too fond of the fact that he’d been a smuggler. Granted there wasn’t too much of a difference between that and being a cage fighter, but now that he’d been with Marie for a year he wasn’t proud of the cage fighting either.

If he was going to be stuck in this situation, Logan wanted to find out as much about his forgotten past as possible. Of course, Logan was fully aware that if he didn’t figure out how to free himself that he would be dead. He wasn’t that much of a fool. What he was, was confident. Logan knew that Marie wouldn’t give up on him. If anyone would find him, Logan knew that it was Marie.

Logan screamed as he was woken by a barrage of cold water. It was pounding into his body, making the ground below him slippery so that he lost his footing, allowing his full weight to rest on his wrists.

“Rise and shine, runt!” Creed bellowed from beyond the wall of water. “This is your morning wake up call slash shower!”

Suddenly the water was gone and Logan was able to regain his footing and take some of the pressure off his shoulder.

“And now it’s time for your breakfast,” Creed snarled, dropping the hose.

As soon as he caught sight of the brass knuckles, Logan steeled himself for the blow that he knew would follow. He was suddenly glad for his time as a fighter. In the five months that he’d spent as a cage fighter, Logan had learned how to take a blow and absorb it into his body. However, none of them had ever worn brass knuckles, so Logan was still in unknown territory. Still, he would be able to absorb at least some of the blow from his tender ribs.

The only problem was that Creed didn’t hit his ribs this time. On the contrary, this strike was aimed at his kidneys. Logan arched his back sharply at the blow. Still sputtering water, Logan cried out at the blinding pain.

Creed stepped out of the room only long enough to retrieve a sturdy wooden chair. He set it down about two feet from where Logan was hanging then stepped towards him once again.

“Time for you to go to sleep,” Creed said quietly, knocking Logan upside the head once again.

“You really have gone soft, runt,” were the first words that Logan heard when he came to again. “If I’d known it would be this easy, I never woulda bothered wrecking your truck last time. It was a damn fine truck and I was sorry to destroy it.”

Logan was silent as he struggled to regain his bearings. He wasn’t hanging from the ceiling anymore. This time Logan was seated in the chair Creed had brought in just before knocking him out. To prevent his escape, though, Creed had duct taped him to the chair. His ankles, his wrists and his chest were all taped to the chair, holding him tight. Logan could taste a familiar copper tang in his mouth. His blood. It was a taste Logan had become familiar with during his time as a fighter. Logan had hoped that he would no longer have to be accustomed to that taste again.

Jerking his head into an upright position, Logan glared at Creed out of his good eye. “Has anyone ever told you that your fucking insane?”

Creed pulled his lips back in a snarl. “I ain’t insane. I’m a businessman. Or at least I was until you ratted me out to the cops. Now I’m lucky if I can stay in one place for two weeks at a time. The boys and I weren’t too pleased with your sudden surge of a conscience.”

That didn’t bode well. Neither did the dark look in Creed’s eyes. The brass knuckles were gone, but that didn’t make him feel the least bit relieved. Even without them, Creed’s hands were lethal looking things.

“Now I’ve been thinking about the best way to make you suffer,” Creed mused, leaning forward on his chair.

“I’m surprised that you could manage the brain capacity for that,” Logan taunted before he could stop himself.

That remark earned him a backhanded slap across the face and a painful blow to his right shoulder.

“You always did have a mouth that would get you into trouble,” Creed informed him, sitting back comfortably in his chair. He crossed his legs and cracked his knuckles. “Now, as I was saying, I’ve been trying to think of the best way to make you suffer. Letting the boys have their way with you is too easy. You’d be dead in a matter of minutes that way. No that won’t do. So I was thinking that I’d fuck with your head for a little bit while I figure it out. Thought I’d start with this.”

Creed reached into the outside pocket of his jacket and held it out for Logan to see.

“You fucking bastard!” Logan roared, pulling against his restraints. “You stay the fuck away from her! She has nothing to do with this shit! I don’t even know what I have to do with this shit!”

“Even when she’s in labour she’s quite a looker. You did good, runt,” Creed commended, taking a look at the picture himself. He then pulled another picture out of his pocket. “‘Course I’m surprised that you managed to make a halfway descent looking kid with your DNA.”

Logan felt tears fill his eyes at the sight of the tiny infant wrapped in a pink blanket. He had a little girl. A daughter.

“Name on the bed said--”

“Alexandra Marie Hunters,” Logan interrupted him, his eyes trained on the image of his daughter’s face.

Creed nodded his head, snatching the picture away from Logan. “Hope you enjoyed that look, runt, ‘cause it’s the last time you’ll ever see her or the kid’s mother. You’re as good as dead to them.”

Dropping the pictures onto the ground, Creed stood up. He towered over Logan who was still trapped in the chair.

“Remember, runt, I can kill you at any time I want,” Creed hissed, kicking Logan square in the centre of the chest and knocking him backwards.

Unable to roll or protect himself in any manner, when the chair toppled, Logan went with it. His wrists and head hit the ground painfully.

Then once again everything was dark.

When he woke again, Logan once again found himself chained in the centre of the room. The chairs were gone and so was Creed. The pictures were still there, though. Creed hadn’t taken those away.

Straining to see them with his good eye, Logan could barely make out Marie’s face. He didn’t really need to see it, though. In the few moments Creed had held it out before him, Logan had memorized her every feature. Her hair lying limply on the pillow, the two bleached streaks framing her face. The way her skin seemed to glow even though she was undoubtedly exhausted by the ordeal of giving birth. Her dark eyes sparkled, but Logan could see a sadness in them. A pain that went beyond the physical. Her wide, lush lips were pulled in a straight line, taking away from their usual softness.

His little girl had Marie’s eyes. True they were blue, like all the baby books said they would be, but they were large and wide like Marie’s were. Her head was covered with dark hair which could have come from either one of them. She had a small button nose and her rosy lips were pursed, yet still smiling slightly. Her tiny head was rounded, full cheeks with small, delicate fingers poking out from underneath the blanket. She was beautiful. His little Alexandra was beautiful.

And he hadn’t been there for her birth. He had missed seeing Alexandra come into the world. Missed her taking her first breath, hearing her first cry. Seeing the look on Marie’s face when she held their daughter for the first time.

The knowledge that he had missed all that hurt worse than any physical pain Creed could inflict.

So when the door opened again, Logan kept his eyes straight ahead, glaring at the large blonde who stood before him.