Chapter 22: Arms of an Angel

Were it not for the pictures that Creed kept taunting him with, Logan would have long forgotten how long he had been in that room. The days kept bleeding from one day into the next, broken up by bouts of unconsciousness. Locked tight in that airless room, Logan had no way of knowing just how much time had passed. It was the pictures that told of the passages of time.

There were ten pictures now.

Two for each day that he had been in that room.

One of Marie.

And one of Alexandra.

Logan had seen his little girl come home from the hospital. Seen Marie breast feeding their daughter. It enraged Logan that Creed could get so close to his family without anyone noticing. At the same time, they gave him peace of mind. He would strain his good eye to the point of getting a headache to make out the images which were taped to the wall opposite him. Logan would stare at the pictures and remind himself that Marie was out there and that she was looking for him. Marie wouldn’t give up on him. Logan was counting on that.

In order to taunt him more, to take away the ease that Logan had, Creed had taken to covering his eyes with a thick black blindfold whenever he left. The maniac had started doing it the previous day after showing him a picture of Marie sitting on the front porch with Alexandra.

“Get this Goddamned thing off me!” Logan roared, trying to shake the blindfold off.

“Not happening, runt. I kinda like that you can’t see anything. Makes you even more at my mercy,” Creed mused, punching Logan in the gut to prove his point. “Now you would have known that was gonna happen if you weren’t wearing that.”

All that Logan could do was hang in the chains, wheezing and gasping in an attempt to pull in a complete breath.

“You know, you really don’t have any survival skills,” Creed informed him. “Driving your bike into the forest? Are you fucking insane? Any normal person woulda just done a U-turn and headed in the other direction. Hell, I wasn’t even planning on taking you that morning. You just happened to be coming in the other direction.”

“You’re fucking... insane,” Logan mumbled, still attempting to draw more breath into his lungs.

“That’s what you keep saying, runt. But the way I see it, you’re the one in chains and I’m the one stalking your girlfriend. Puts you at a disadvantage,” Creed told him.

Logan clenched his teeth at the mention of Marie. “That makes no fucking sense.”

“Doesn’t have to. I can do this!” Logan cried, delivering a sharp blow to Logan’s kidneys. “And you can’t do nothing to stop me. That’s what matters.”

Logan couldn’t contain the sharp cry that escaped his lips as pain flared in his side.

“Catch you later, runt. I’m off for a three course steak dinner,” Creed taunted, giving Logan one more solid blow to his stomach. “I’d bring you back some, but I just don’t feel like it. There’s no point in feeding a dead man.”

Logan moaned, hanging limply in the chains. After five days with Creed, there wasn’t a part of him that didn’t ache in some way, shape or form. Logan craved the time that he passed out. He didn’t sleep anymore. He simply lost consciousness every so often. Doing so meant that Creed could sneak up on him-- like he had many times --and do something to him when he wasn’t prepared.

It took several minutes before Logan was able to get his feet under him. He felt weak and dazed, the blindfold only making it worse, but was determined to be on his feet when Creed returned. He wasn’t going to let Creed break him. Not completely. Logan was never gonna give up hope that Marie would find him. That was the one thing he was counting on.

Drawing himself up as high as he was able, Logan attempted to relieve some of the strain on his right shoulder. Logan knew that something was seriously wrong with his shoulder. Even the slightest twinge of his muscles sent an incredible pain shooting through his entire body. Logan just wanted to be able to lie down, no restraints, no nothing, and just sleep.

Of course, Logan knew that he wouldn’t sleep peacefully until he felt Marie’s arms around him once again. Feel her hands sliding over his body. Logan wanted to be able to hold her against him and not let go no matter what. He wanted to feel her skin against his and know that she was real and not just a figment of his imagination. Logan wanted to hold his Marie and to not have her was slowly driving him insane.

The part that made it the hardest to bear was the knowledge that there was nothing he could do to protect himself. Logan had struggled to free himself from the shackles around his wrists until he could feel ribbons of blood trailing down his arms. Every time that Creed would leave-- provided he was conscious at the time --Logan would attempt to slide the cuffs off his wrist. It never worked, though. Logan even tried using the blood on his wrists to slid his hands out, but it didn’t work.

At one point during his struggles, Logan jarred his shoulder too much and immediately passed out due to the overwhelming pain. He wasn’t sure how long he was out only that there was a sudden noise that woke him up. A noise that Logan had trained himself to hear over the past five day.

The front door was opening.

As soon as he heard the door open, Logan’s entire body tensed. Creed was back. He had been unconscious too long! Creed was back before he’d had much time to try and get out of the cuffs. Knowing that Creed would enter in a matter of moments, Logan prepared himself for what was to come.

Within moments, though, the situation became even worse than it had been previously. He could hear more than one set of footsteps in the outside room. That sent Logan into a panic and he began pulling on the chains locked around his wrists. Logan could feel blood leaking down his arms, but didn’t dare stop struggling. He needed to get free and so that he would at least be able to defend himself before Creed and his buddies entered the room.

Suddenly the door opened and Logan tensed once again, a slight moan escaping his lips.

“Captain, I’ve got him!”

Recognizing the voice as that of Officer Tomolski, Logan sagged in the chains. Relief flooded through him and Logan couldn’t stop the tears that filled his eyes behind the blindfold. If Pete and other police officers were there that meant he was going home to Marie. Very soon he would be able to see her again.

The blindfold was lifted away then and Logan had to blink several times before he could see clear outlines around the images before him. It was a few seconds before Pete had only one head instead of three.

“You look like shit, Logan,” the police officer commented as he lifted his hands up to unlock the chains.

Logan snorted, all that his abused ribs would allow in the way of laughter. “I feel like shit,” he mumbled, managing a weak smile.

When his left wrist was unlocked, the limb fell to his side like a metal weight. At first he had no feeling in his arm, but as soon as the blood began to flow back into it, it created a flash of pain that travelled through every nerve in his arm. His right shoulder was screaming and it took everything that he had not to cry out. Quickly steadying himself on his feet, Logan took the pressure off his arm so that it didn’t hurt quite as much.

Pete was just moving to his right arm when other people began to enter the room, including the one person Logan had been longing to see the entire time Creed had him locked up in the dark room.


Logan’s weary smile grew at the sight of Marie. He held his left arm out towards her, wrapping it around her as soon as she was close enough. Logan held onto her as tight as possible, sobbing openly against her shoulder. Inhaling deeply, Logan turned his head into her neck, breathing in her warm vanilla scent. Logan barely even noticed the pain she was inflicting on his damaged ribs as she squeezed him tightly.

“Ah’ve got ya now, Logan. Ah’ve got ya,” Marie murmured in his ear as her fingers buried themselves in his hair, holding his head against her shoulder. “Yer safe now, sugah. Everythin’ is gonna be all right.”

Logan’s right arm was released then and so was everything that had been holding him up. Logan sagged to his knees, taking Marie with him. Barely holding onto consciousness by that point, Logan could only vaguely make out what Marie was saying. He wasn’t even sure if she was talking to him or not. The only thing that Logan could focus on was her hands lightly smoothing up and down his back, soothing away the bone deep pain.

“Ya still with me, sugah?” Marie said softly in his ear.

Logan gave a mumbled response, too exhausted to even make an attempt at speech.

“How ‘bout we lay ya down till the ambulance comes? Ya’ll be a lot more comfortable that way,” Marie suggested, trying her best to keep her voice light even though Logan could hear the strain in it.

Even though every movement caused a huge twinge of pain to his shoulder, Logan bit savagely into the inside of his cheek to keep from crying out. He didn’t want her to know just how much he was hurting. It would only make Marie worry more and she’d been though enough in the past week.

“Ya can scream if ya want t’, Logan. Ah know yer hurtin’, sugah,” Marie told him, her fingers combing though his hair.

Logan opened his right eye a tiny crack so that he could focus on her face, his left hand fumbling till it came to rest on her stomach. The place where, up until five days ago, their baby had lived. Her stomach wasn’t as flat as it had once been, but it was definitely a lot smaller than it had been the last time he saw her.

“Alexandra is perfect, sugah. She’s so beautiful an’ amazin’. Ah love her so much an’ so will ya when ya get t’ meet her,” Marie praised, leaning over and pressing a kiss to his forehead. “We created a perfect little girl.”

“Love you,” Logan gasped out, his voice rough and scratchy.

Marie’s smile was blinding. She cupped his face gently, carefully avoiding the large gash on the left side of his face. “Ah love ya too, darlin’. So very, very much. But Ah want ya t’ relax now. Okay? Ya’ve been through a hell o’ a lot these past couple days an’ need t’ take it easy.”

“Creed?” Logan mumbled, knowing that there was no way he would ever be able to relax as long as Creed was out there.

“A group of officers have him surrounded at a steak house ten miles from here,” Pete volunteered, speaking for the first time in a while. “As soon as he comes out they’ll arrest him. The FBI are on their way to take possession of him on earlier charges.”

Though Logan was not completely convinced by Pete’s assurances, Logan relaxed willingly into Marie’s arms. He was safe with Marie, knowing that she wouldn’t willingly hurt him. Sighing as deeply as he was able, Logan allowed his eyes to slide shut.

As he began to drift off, Logan could vaguely hear the sounds of a siren. It was most likely the ambulance that Marie had spoken of earlier so Logan didn’t react. He laid silently in Marie’s arms, waiting for the paramedics to come. The sooner they came the sooner the pain would go away. Logan hadn’t known a moments peace since the moment his right shoulder had smashed against the thick tree trunk and wanted it to finally come to an end.

The paramedics entered the back room suddenly, all but tearing him away from Marie. As one of them probed his shoulder to determine the amount of damage done to it, a fire of pain shot through his entire body.

“Careful!” Marie cried suddenly. “Yer hurtin’ him! Yer not s’pose t’ be hurtin’ him!”

Logan felt Marie’s fingers comb through his hair. He chose to focus on her gentle touch rather than the fingers probing his battered body. He bit into his already well born lip to keep from crying out. Marie noticed this and soothed him with gentle touches to the undamaged parts of his face and neck.

Suddenly, there was a stinging pain in his left arm just above his elbow. Muttering quietly under his breath, Logan attempted to get a look at what they were doing to him. There was a sudden numb sensation creeping up his arm and Logan realized that they were going to knock him out.

Logan kept his eyes on Marie while the paramedics worked around him, wanting to see her as much as possible before he slipped off into oblivion. As much as he longed to stay awake and with Marie, Logan knew that it was better for him to be asleep for the time being.

“Just rest now, sugah,” Marie said softly, pressing her lips against his in an upside-down kiss. “When ya wake up, Alexandra an’ Ah will be waitin’ fer ya.”

Logan moaned as it got harder and harder for him to keep his good eye open. As much as he welcomed the coming oblivion, he wasn’t quite ready to lose sight of her. For her part, Marie gave him a soft smile and lightly began soothing his eyelid closed with her thumb, her attempts at getting him to sleep made easier by the fact that he couldn't open his left eye. Logan tried to fight it, but eventually was forced to give up his fight when his right eye refused to open again.

Still, Logan didn’t sleep. He remained in a half-conscious state, listening to the conversations going on around him. From the bits and pieces he was able to gather, Logan was able to put together several pieces of information.

The paramedics believed that he had several torn muscles and tendons in his right shoulder. That was something Logan could have easily told them. Between the tree and Creed, his shoulder had been turned into a swelled mass of bruised skin.

One of the gashes on the left side of his face had missed his eye by mere millimeters. From what Logan could tell there was a small one on his forehead that cut into his eyebrow and another one that went from his temple, crossed just under his eye and ended somewhere on his cheek. Something else that Logan had already known. It was part of the reason that he couldn’t see out of that eye.

Pete had noticed the pictures tapped to the wall and alerted Marie to them. The horror that he heard in Marie’s voice and the shocked gasps she gave made Logan want to hold her tight in his arms and keep her from seeing the pictures.

“How did that bastard get so close t’ us?” Marie demanded, her voice trembling as she undoubtedly flipped through the ten photographs.

“That’s something we hope to find out from Creed,” was Pete’s answer.

Based on Marie’s next statement, she believed him to be asleep. Her fingers were gently smoothing his hair away from his face once again, her voice softening. “Ah can’t believe that Logan had t’ learn ‘bout Alex like this. T’ see a picture o’ her instead o’ bein’ there when she was born. An’ t’ have the pictures tauntin’ him like that.... Ah want Creed t’ pay fer what he did t’ Logan. He needs t’ suffer fer this.”

Logan wanted to tell Marie that the pictures hadn’t been taunting him. That the pictures had been the only thing giving him hope. The pictures gave him hope. As long as the pictures were there it meant that Marie was still out there. That Creed hadn’t hurt her and that she and Alexandra were still safe.

Unfortunately, Logan couldn’t do any of that. As it was, he was barely clinging to the last ringlets of consciousness. Every fibre in his body was telling him to just give in to the drugs flowing through his blood stream.

“Don’t worry, sugah, everythin’ will be all right very soon,” Marie murmured as her fingers danced over his features.

That was the last thing Logan heard before finally giving in to the drug’s persuasive calls.