This one is sort of long. . .I apologize in advance but we gotta get this story over with before the show comes back on. . .so expect another installment this week. . .
This is dedicated to Kati! Thanks for your nice comments.
"Love lies bleeding. . .in my hands again. . ."
(I always liked "Hemorrhage" by Fuel even before it was sung on American Idol)
Shaking, his heart pounding in his head, Wentworth rolled slowly away from Gabby.
Sweat rolled down his face as the acrid smell of smoke and gunpowder burned his nose. Moonlight from the French doors cast a wide beam of pale, lavender light across his body.
Breathing laboriously, he looked down at himself.
There was blood all over his chest.
Terrified, he scrambled to his knees, crawling over to Gabrielle.
No. . .please God, no!
With trembling hands, he turned her over, looked down at her.
And there is was. . .
A dark, wet stain spread across her stomach, the smell of it cloying, sickening, and immediately, he knew what had happened. . .
What he had done.
A scream erupted deep in his chest, manifesting itself from the depths of his heart but he forced it back, turned his heart away from her, telling himself that he couldn’t lose control of his emotions. . .
He couldn’t fall apart, not now. He had to do something, he knew. There was a procedure to follow, he’d been told. . .there were instructions in the event of a situation such as this.
A situation such as this. . .
How the fuck was he supposed to think of Gabrielle as some kind of unfortunate situation to be dealt with. . .she wasn’t a situation. . .
Gabrielle was his soul, she was in every fiber of his being, in the middle of all his details.
And now here she was, lying on the floor. . .shot in the stomach, bleeding. . .
If he didn’t do something soon. . .
She would cease to exist, and then what would happen to him?
Frustrated, confused, scared, he backed away from her body, struggled to his feet. Nervous and wary, haunted by the shadows cast throughout the room from the lightening, he walked over to the French doors, peered out at the tropical foliage.
He had to calm down, start thinking rationally.
Except there was nothing rational about Gabrielle bleeding on the floor. . .
Because of him.
Rage imploded within him, and before he realized it, he’d slammed his fist through one of the glass panes of the French door, and just as quickly, he yanked it out, broken glass shards scraping his knuckles, leaving thin bloody lines on his hand.
Pain came to life as his hand throbbed.
But, Wentworth didn’t care. . .he needed the pain, needed the distraction so he could do what had to be done, so he could remember the procedures, follow the established instructions.
Swallowing, he took his cell phone from his jacket, opened it and stared at it.
There was a number he was supposed to call. . .what was it. . .what was it. . .?
From the depths of his memory, the number came to him, and he punched it in.
Wiping the blood from his hand on his pants, he listened to the phone ringing. . .
Slowly, he turned, staring at Gabrielle, and his fingers found their way to her blood on his shirt.
“Yes. . .?” The voice on the phone said, terse, unyielding.
“I have a problem,” Wentworth said, looking at Gabby’s blood on his fingers.
“What have you done?”
“I shot. . .” Wentworth hesitated, faltering, replaying the scene from moments ago in his mind, trying to figure out what the hell he could have done differently, wondering how he could have prevented it.
“What have you done?”
Steeling himself, Wentworth took a deep breath. “I shot her. . .”
“You shot who?”
“I shot. . .Gabrielle. . .”
“How did that happen?”
“I didn’t mean to do it,” Wentworth insisted, looking over at Gabrielle. “It was an accident.”
“That’s unfortunate,” came the reply. “However, Wentworth, when you make mistakes, you have to clean them up.”
Terror settled in Wentworth’s gut, cold and hard. “What are you asking me to do?”
“I’m not asking you anything. This is an order. Make it look as though they did this to her. . .”
“No. . .”
“It needs to appear as though you were never there.”
“I can’t do that to her.”
“You don’t really have any other option. When the police get there, they should find a bullet right between her eyes.”
His blood turned to ice.
No. . .there was no way he could shoot Gabrielle between the eyes.
He couldn’t kill her. . .
Because he didn’t know if he could live in a world, knowing that Gabrielle was gone, lost to him forever, lost because of him.
“Please don’t disappoint us, Wentworth,” were the final words before the disconnect.
Wentworth dropped the phone, went over to Gabrielle, knelt down beside her.
He remembered the first time he’d seen her. Their respective handlers had paired them together, thinking they would make a good match, that they might compliment each other and accomplish the mission.
They worked for two different teams, groups that normally opposed each other, sought the others’ demise but, for some reason, these two rival groups decided to turn their backs of their differences and work together.
Wentworth hadn’t been happy about working with her. He did his best work alone. But, he hadn’t been given a choice, and he resolved to make the best of things, to use Gabrielle for her knowledge and expertise and then discard her. . .
But, what was it they said about the best laid plans.
His heart had other ideas the day she introduced herself to him.
The heart wants what it wants, he thought, gazing down at her.
But, will it settle for what it can get?
“Wentworth. . .” Gabrielle moaned.
He tried to harden his heart, tried not to let the sound and the sight of her affect him, rule his emotions and decisions.
Wentworth knew that shooting Gabby in the face would be impossible.
But. . .what if he just left her there, what if –
“Wentworth. . .” Gabby said, her voice weak, raspy. “Please. . .help me. . .”
Indecision clawed at the walls of his stomach, igniting a raging terror within him that threatened to consume him.
If he left her, she would die. . .and he would be free of her.
But, that was the problem. . .he didn’t want to be free of her. If he saved her life, he knew she would eventually burn him, leave him as a pile of ashes, sweep him away. . .
He didn’t care.
Instinctively, he grabbed her, pulling her into his arms, cradling her.
“Wentworth. . .”
“Don’t worry,” he whispered. “I’m going to help you. . .I won’t let you die.”
It was only a half an hour but it felt like a lifetime to Wentworth as he drove Gabrielle to the house of a man known as Asani, a man who would never be a friend but, who would help Wentworth, someone he could trust. . .somewhat.
Wentworth parked his car in the driveway of Asani’s home, a large, brick two-story dwelling, comfortable and inviting, the kind of home he and Gabrielle would never settle in, he knew. Wentworth got out, leaving Gabby in the backseat and walked to the front door.
Jittery, longing for a cigarette, he rang the doorbell.
Once, twice, jabbing it incessantly in his impatience, worried that Gabby may have already bled too much, that maybe he shouldn’t have moved her, that maybe –
The door opened.
Asani stared at him, wild-eyed.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Asani demanded.
“I need your help,” Wentworth said, scowling at the diminutive Spaniard.
“Fuck you,” Asani spat.
Wentworth grabbed him by the throat, slammed him against the doorframe.
“Calm the fuck down,” Asani sputtered, clawing at Wentworth’s hand around his neck. “My wife and kids are in the living room watching Bambi, for crisssakes!”
“I said I need your help,” Wentworth repeated, relaxing his hold a fraction.
“I don’t do charity work.”
“You owe me,” Wentworth told him.
“I paid you back,” Asani told him. “I don’t owe you shit.”
“Unless you want your wife and kids to know about your extracurricular activities in San Juan – ”
“What do you need?” Asani asked, bitterly resigned.
“Come with me.”
At the car, Wentworth opened the back door, then stepped aside.
“I need you to help her.”
“What?” Asani asked, peering into the car. “Wait a minute. . .what the hell is this shit? Is that who I think it is?”
“She was shot in the stomach and she’s bleeding.”
“Forget it,” Asani shook his head, backing away from the car. “I’m not getting involved in this.”
“Listen, I’m giving you a choice,” Wentworth said, his patience obliterated. “You can either help her. . .or you can be shot in the head while your wife and your kids watch.”
Moments later, Gabrielle was lying on a make-shift operating table in the basement of Asani’s home, a secret room the Spanish surgeon had built beneath the greenhouse in his backyard to take care of incidents such as these.
Wentworth knew that Asani was on loan to The Foundation from the CIA, a fugitive from Barcelona, wanted for questioning in the deaths of four high-level members of the Spanish Interior Ministry.
In exchange for his help in identifying Iraqi terrorists hiding in Pamplona, the Central Intelligence Agency had given Asani refuge. The Foundation had further provided the former emergency medial physician a way to continue his practice.
“I’m not going to be able to do this if your hovering over me,” Asani griped, moving around the table where Gabby lay unconscious, hooked up to a portable respirator. Asani had already placed EKG patches on her chest and had placed a blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter, to measure oxygen, on her.
Wentworth watched as Asani washed his hands in a stainless steel sink the corner of the room, scrubbing each of his fingers methodically.
“She doesn’t have a lot of time,” Wentworth said, impatient. “She’s lost a lot of blood, you need to operate on her now.”
“Do you want me to give her an infection?” Asani asked over his shoulder. “If you want me to save her, I need all conditions sterile, including this room. That means you need to leave.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Wentworth told him. “Now, get over here and get this fucking bullet out of her.”
Sighing, Asani shook the water from his hands, then pulled on his gloves. “How the hell did she get shot anyway?” he asked, walking over to the tray of surgical instruments set up next to the table.
“That doesn’t matter,” Wentworth said, anxious, watching as Asani placed an IV in Gabby’s arm. “What are you doing?”
“Putting her to sleep,” Asani said. “I don’t want this bitch to wake up screaming while I’m in the middle of the procedure.”
“Have you administered anesthesia before?” Wentworth asked.
Asani stared at him. “This bitch caused a lot of problems for you. What the fuck do you care if she lives or dies?”
“Just take the bullet out of her,” Wentworth said.
Asani put a mask over his face, then picked up a scalpel. “You shot her, didn’t you?”
Wentworth said nothing as the scalpel hovered just below Gabrielle’s navel.
“Make sure your hands are steady, doctor,” Wentworth told him. “If she dies, so do you.”
“You shot me, didn’t you. . .”
“It was an accident.”
“There are no such things as accidents,” Gabby said, staring at him, touching the bandages wrapped around her stomach. “You wanted me dead.”
“If I wanted you dead you’d have a bullet between your eyes right now,” Wentworth said, stoic. He sat in a chair next to the bed she was laying on. He added, “I saved your life.”
“Am I supposed to thank you?”
“You always were an ungrateful bitch.”
“I don’t think you want gratitude from me,” Gabby said, looking around the room. It was beige, boring, nondescript. There was a wardrobe, a bureau chest, two night table flanking the queen-sized bed. There was a wide bay window across from the door, its dark wooden shutters closed, blocking the light, bathing the room in a quiet dimness. “You want me to love you, don’t you?”
“I want you to tell me what they told me to put a bullet in your head?”
“What are you talking about?” Gabby asked, her eyes on the door, her mind churning, trying to come up with a way to escape.
Shit. . .as if she could in the condition she was in.
She was groggy, half-confused and could barely move.
“My rep from The Foundation wanted me to shoot you between the eyes, which as you know, is a trademark of The Consortium.”
“So what?” She asked, wincing from the pain of trying to sit up.
“So why did they want it to look like someone from The Consortium killed you?”
“How the hell should I know?” Gabby said. “I work for The Consortium, not The Foundation.”
“Are you in trouble?”
“Why the hell would you care?” She said, leaning back against the pillows, exhausted.
“You shot me and damn near let me bleed to death.”
“Let me help you,” Wentworth picked up her hand.
“Why?” Gabby said, snatching her hand away. “So both of us can be killed?”
“What did you do?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Gabby, I want to help you.”
“You can help me by staying away from me,” she told him, looking away.
“I tried to stay away from you,” he said. “I couldn’t.”
“I can’t do that,” he said. “I love you.”
“And that’s what going to get you killed,” she said. “You picked the wrong girl to
fall in love with. You should have treated me like all the other girls. You should have just screwed me and cut your losses.”
“You’re not like the other girls.”
“And you’re not like the other boys,” she told him. “But, I wish you were.”
“Gabrielle. . .”
“Please go away. . .” she said, turning away her head from him.
Moments later, she heard the door close and knew that he was gone.
She hoped that he wouldn’t come back. That he would leave her forever, give up his ridiculous fantasy of the two of them together, and let her go.
Hot, angry tears slid down her face.
Sometimes, she didn’t think it was fair. What the hell was the point of falling in love if you couldn’t be with the person you were in love with?
The truth was, she could never tell Wentworth how she really felt about him. If she admitted her real feelings, if she told him that she loved him, he’d never go away. . .and for his sake, she needed him to go away.
As much as she wanted to be with him, she knew she couldn’t be selfish, she couldn’t risk his life for a year or two of happiness. . .and that was all they would have before The Consortium caught up with them and shot them both between the eyes.
Gabrielle sighed. The problem was, Wentworth had become increasingly obsessed with his fantasy of the two of them together, and she knew he wasn’t going to give it up.
And that was why, she thought, forcing herself to sit up despite the discomfort, she would have to leave him.
In the living room of the apartment, Wentworth found Asani sitting on one of the white couches, drinking malt scotch.
“Can I go home now?” Asani asked.
It was a hour before dawn.
The bullet had been extracted successfully, and following the crude emergency surgery, Wentworth had entreated Asani to help him move Gabby to one of the many “safe houses” that The Foundation had set up for its operatives.
“Listen,” Wentworth said. “I need you to watch Gabrielle. . .make sure than she doesn’t leave. . .”
“I don’t have time to baby sit this bitch,” Asani protested. “Why can’t you watch her? Where are you going?”
“Los Angeles,” Wentworth answered, grabbing the pack of cigarettes and the lighter from the coffee table.
“L.A.?” Asani stared at him. “For what?”
“Jay Leno,” Wentworth took a cigarette out, light it, and inhaled deeply, relishing the feel of nicotine and smoke deep in his throat, dispersing throughout his chest.
Wentworth exhaled. “It’s for the show.”
“My wife watches that crazy bullshit,” Asani shook his head. “She likes that one guy, the one who plays your brother. The big, bald one.”
“Dominic Purcell,” Wentworth nodded, taking another deep drag, blowing it out. “He’s a good guy.”
“You think you could get his autograph for my wife?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Wentworth told him. “Just keep an eye on Gabby. She’s an escapist. She’ll go to great lengths to get away.”
“Don’t worry,” Asani said. “Even if she does leave. . .I’ll know how to find her.”
Two days later. . .
Wary, Gabrielle watched the small, dark-haired man as he prepared the syringe, placing the long needle into a small clear bottle of liquid, extracting the liquid into the hollow core of the needle.
That was why she was always so lethargic, why she couldn’t seem to get up, why she had no concept of time anymore. . .what day was it? And where the hell was she?
Gabrielle’s eyes were trained on the needle in the man’s hand as he turned to her and smiled. “This won’t hurt a bit.”
Swiftly, Gabrielle clamped her right hand down on the his wrist, stopping his movement towards her arm. “You are not putting that needle in me again!”
Gabrielle grabbed the syringe with her left hand, stabbed the needle deep into the man’s shoulder.
She kicked the bed sheets away, and leaped forward out of the bed.
The man screamed, lunging at Gabrielle.
Fighting exhaustion, summoning her reserves, Gabrielle hit him in the face, a stinging right cross to the jaw. The man stumbled back, his arms flying, crashing against the bed table.
Wincing in pain, holding her stomach, Gabby stumbled over towards the man.
She kicked him in the stomach. “Who are you? Where am I?”
“Ask your boyfriend,” the man sputtered, wheezing as he crouched in the fetal position on the floor.
Shock and anger slammed into her, making her dizzy. “Wentworth told you to drug me?”
“He told me to watch you,” the man coughed. “He told me not to let you leave.”
“That motherfucker!” She yelled, stumbling towards the door.
“It doesn’t matter where you go,” the man said, smiling as he panted, trying to catch his breath. “He’ll always find you. . .”
Terrified, knowing that the man was right, Gabrielle opened the door and ran out.
Three days later. . .
Gabrielle stood in the middle of her apartment on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
Everything was just as she’d left it. . .comfortable and familiar, the soft neutral tones warm and inviting.
It wasn’t home, it wasn’t Nebraska but, it was close, and for now, for a little while, it would have to do until she mapped out her next move.
Gingerly, she walked into the kitchen, where the phone was. She knew she was in a lot of trouble, she knew she’d fucked up when she hadn’t found those diamonds, when she’d found Wentworth Miller there instead. . .
Instinctively, her eyes went to an empty vase on the counter.
The vase was from Tiffany’s, a gift from Wentworth, for the flowers he’d bought her after some silly argument they’d had.
Tulips. Flown in from Holland. Beautiful tulips the color of vermillion.
Scowling at the memory, Gabby grabbed the vase and hurled it across the kitchen, enjoying the sound of it shattering against the wall, watching as glass shards crashed to the floor.
She left the kitchen, and went out into the living room.
Fuck Wentworth Miller and fuck those stupid tulips, she thought, sitting on the couch. . .
The same couch they’d made love on. . .
Gabrielle jumped up, angry at herself. She didn’t want to think about Wentworth, she couldn’t. As she paced back and forth in front of the couch, trying to stop herself from going back in time, angry with herself.
Wentworth Miller was in her past, and she never wanted to relive him.
She didn’t want to have anything to do with him. He’d shot her, drugged her, and tried to keep her hostage. He was a sick, pathetic, obsessed asshole and she wanted to kill him for what he’d done and she wished she’d never met him and. . .
Gabby sat down, looked at the little scar she’d discovered on her right index finger two days ago.
. . .and she missed Wentworth.
She couldn’t stop thinking about him. . .
She wondered where he was, and what he was doing and if he was thinking about her. . .
She wondered –
The phone rang.
Gabrielle jumped up, rushed into the kitchen to answer it.
“Hello. . .” she said, hoping for just a moment that it might be Wentworth, and yet knowing that it wasn’t.
“Gabrielle, we’re very disappointed.”
Her stomach twisted. “I know but. . .you don’t understand. . .”
“We understand perfectly. And unfortunately, we have no choice but to inform you that your services will no longer be needed.
Gabrielle slammed the phone down, her heart slamming.
It was official.
She was a dead woman.
“How the hell did you let her get away?” Wentworth asked, his cell phone pressed to his ear as he sat down at a table at Starbucks.
He was back in Chicago, back to his phony life as the actor, back to rehearsals, and scripts, and shooting schedules and waiting around for the techs to set up the scene and getting up way too damn early in the morning.
“The bitch kicked me in the fucking stomach,” Asani said. “What the hell did you expect me to do? I couldn’t move.”
“You were supposed to keep her sedated,” Wentworth whispered, trying to ignore the stares and whispers. Now that “Prison Break” was officially a hit for FOX, people were staring to recognize him.
“She figured out what was going on,” Asani said. “She stuck me with my own needle.
“The next time I see you,” Wentworth said, smiling at the beautiful, dark haired woman who joined him at the table. “I’m gonna cut your fucking head off.”
“No need for histrionics,” Asani told him. “Remember, I know how to find her.”
“How?” Wentworth asked, looking at his companion.
She was a suitable decoy, a nice distraction. Vaguely, if wondered what people would think when they saw them together; he wondered if they would think that she meant anything to him.
“I put a tracking device in her right index finger,” Asani said. “I know exactly where she is.”
The next day. . .
Something moved. . .
Heart pounding in her ears, Gabby looked up from the suitcase she was packing.
What was that. . .?
She stood still, listening, terrified.
Had she really heard a noise? Or was she just nervous. . .?
Since receiving her death sentence, she’d hadn’t slept, or eaten. She’d spent every moment planning her escape, getting her affairs in order, tying up loose ends, wiring money to her offshore accounts, writing goodbye letters to family and friends.
She was going to have to disappear, to no longer exist if she was to survive.
Gabrielle sighed, tried to get herself together.
Maybe she was just over-reacting, maybe –
Footsteps on the carpet.
She knew that sound.
Her stomach clenched. Someone was in her apartment.
Slowly, quietly, she walked to her bedroom door, stepped out into the hallway that led to the living room.
Last night, as she’d feverishly mapped out the logistics of her escape, she’d sat on the couch, her gun in her lap.
Today, when she went to her bedroom to pack, she left the gun on the couch. . .
Gabby walked into the living room.
There was a man sitting on her couch, smiling at her.
He was holding a knife.
The doorman at Gabby’s building remembered Wentworth, and let him in.
As Wentworth got on the elevator, memories assailed him.
He saw himself in the past, clutching a vase filled with orange tulips.
He and Gabrielle had argued about something the day before, he couldn’t remember what now. . .
The elevator doors slid open, and Wentworth hurried out.
He headed down the hall towards Gabby’s apartment, his blood pressure dipping and spiking with each step.
Damn, he needed a cigarette. He was too damn nervous, too anxious. . .
He wanted to see her, needed to see her. . .
No. . .he just needed her.
With him, in his life.
That was what he was going to tell her.
As he walked closer towards her door, his heart dropped.
The door to her apartment was slightly ajar.
Something was wrong.
Wentworth ran to the door.
The man was on top of her, strong and heavy.
Holding her wrists over her head with one hand, he straddled her, pining her to the floor as she struggled to get away from him.
Gabrielle stared at the knife he held right above her face, tears streaming down her face.
This couldn’t be happening, she thought, nearly hysterical with fear and desperation as she tried in vain to break his hold on her wrists.
He couldn’t kill her, she couldn’t let him kill her! She had to fight this sonofabitch! She couldn’t give up!
Because if he stabbed her to death, it would destroy Wentworth.
Her death would devastate him, and she couldn’t let that happen, she couldn’t –
The knife was kicked from the man’s hand.
Gabrielle screamed, blood roaring in her head.
Terrified, she scrambled back towards the wall, watching as Wentworth kicked the man twice in the face.
Gabby shrank against the wall, confused and horrified.
What was happening? Why was Wentworth here? How did he know –
Wentworth pushed the man over onto his stomach, then knelt down next to him, and grabbed the man’s head.
In one, swift move, he twisted the man’s head. . .
Gabby heard the sickening crack of the man’s neck breaking.
Wentworth dropped the man, and stood, breathing deeply, staring at Gabrielle.
Shaking, she wiped the tears from her face, relief flooding her, making her limp. And yet, somehow, someway, she struggled to her feet, joy filling her, and she ran to him.
“Wentworth. . .” she cried out rushing to him. “Wentworth. . .I’m so glad – ”
He grabbed her before she could put her arms around him, and slapped her.
Stunned, lights dancing in front of her eyes, Gabby stumbled. “What are you doing. . .? Why – ”
Growling with rage, Wentworth slapped her a second time.
Gabrielle fell to the floor, fear and pain consuming her as Wentworth fell to his knees beside her, grabbing a handful of her hair, pulling her up.
“How many more times are you going to rip my fucking heart out and throw it in my face?” he said, yanking her hair.
“Stop it. . .” Gabrielle cried, staring into green eyes that were cold, lifeless, that she no longer recognized.
“Are you trying to destroy me?” he asked, his face inches from hers.
“Please. . .stop. . .” she begged him.
“That man was going to kill you,” Wentworth said. “Do you know what would have happened to me if he would have killed you?”
“Stop it. . .please. . .”
“My life would have been over. . .”
“Please. . .let me go. . .”
“I would have been useless, I would have been nothing!”
“You’re hurting me. . .”
“I would have begged somebody to cut my goddamn throat!”
“Stop. . .”
“I won’t let you leave me again,” Wentworth told her. “I will kill you before I let that happen.”