Sorel slowly leaned down toward her, his face no more than a foot from hers. Eyes narrowing, he studied the woman lying crumpled beneath him. Half-conscious, bleeding, defiant. He shifted his weight back, onto his heels, and reached into his breast pocket.
Alexis tensed, expecting to pay for her big mouth. And he knew exactly what she expected, holding his hand in his pocket just long enough to be sure he'd unnerve her. Fear of the unknown was a powerful tool.
At last, he produced a clean white handkerchief. Sorel took her hand and gently wiped the blood away. He'd unnerved her all right. Folding the red-streaked cloth several times, he pressed it against her cut finger.
"Hold it there."
Alexis was accustomed to mind-games: Helena had made them an art form. But she KNEW Helena. This man was a crap-shoot, and his gesture confused her. She kicked into detached, attorney mode.
"What exactly do you expect to accomplish by kidnapping me, because I'm sure it will have the opposite effect. You do understand that this only serves to make your already bad situation even worse?"
Sorel was silent. The room was silent. Then, the heavy clank of a door slamming shut, and the hard footsteps of Sorel's guard coming toward them. Alexis continued on her set path of rationalization.
"If your attorney truly is as good as you say, he should be able to convince a judge that my client's testimony is little more than non-credible hearsay. Reasonable doubt, Mr. Sorel. It can be a life-saver."
Sorel took the requested glass of water from his guard. "Thank you Thomas."
As he handed the glass to Alexis, her eyes stayed steady on his, unflinching.
"No thank you, Thomas."
Sorel smiled. "What? You're afraid it's more than just plain old H2O? That's cute, it really is. Considering you just woke up on the floor." His smile grew to a full-throated laugh, as he turned to share his amusement with Thomas.
Alexis took advantage of their brief distraction, quickly surveying her surroundings. The room was small. It seemed to be some kind of basement: ashen concrete and bare pipes everywhere. Nothing in it but a chair with something draped over it, a small wooden table and a cot in the far corner. All that dull, gray concrete sent a cold chill through her body. And the two
naked bulbs hanging from the low ceiling...she suddenly felt encased.
"Well," Sorel's voice snapped her attention back to him. "I'm sorry I failed to meet your expectations."
Alexis raised an eyebrow. "Did I say that?"
He paused a moment before downing the water himself, then handed the empty glass over his shoulder and into Thomas's waiting palm.
"What do you want from me?" Alexis asked flatly.
"From you? Just the pleasure of your VERY entertaining company. From Mr. Corinthos? I think you already know."
Sorel rose and moved to the cloth-covered folding chair just a few feet away. He reached into what proved to be an overcoat, pulling a cell phone from the pocket. As she watched his movements, Alexis became acutely aware of the fact that she was still crouched on the floor, a position of pure weakness. She glanced from Sorel to the stony-faced Thomas before carefully pulling herself to her feet. Falling back on her ass, at that particular moment, would not have been good.
Turning back, Sorel was amused to see his captive standing tall and firm. As he shook his head and began to punch numbers into the phone, Thomas quietly moved in behind Alexis and grabbed hold of her arms, pulling them tightly behind her back. Her body stiffened.
"Hey, I'm not going anywhere," she tossed in Thomas's direction. The man's grip tightened.
"All right, I get it," she whispered.
Sorel's face assumed a new expression, as it began. "It's Sorel. Put him on."
"He won't do it. He won't just turn that boy over to you. It would be like putting a bullet in Zander's head himself."
"We all have choices to make, Miss Davis. My guess is, Mr. Corinthos will choose you."
"What makes you so sure? Why would he? I'm just his lawyer, easily replaced!" Alexis shot back. "Compared to the prospect of you being a permanent non-issue for him, for his family...I'm quite irrelevant. Trust me."
"It's critical for me to know the weaknesses of my enemies, Miss Davis. Don't sell yourself so short."
He suddenly brightened. "Corinthos! I seem to be in possession of something that you'll be wanting. I'd be more than happy to facilitate an exchange, as you have something I want as well."
Alexis felt her hands growing numb. The silence in the room was unbearable, as Sonny's words met Sorel's ears alone.
"I'm sure she'd be happy to speak to you. Just keep it brief. You know how these cell phone charges can add up."
Sorel held the phone up to Alexis's ear. "Miss Davis, please convince Mr. Corinthos of the... sincerity of my offer. It would be in your best interest. Trust me."
Alexis could hear Sonny urgently calling her name. She swallowed hard, determined to keep her voice as normal as possible. She didn't want Sonny to know...
"Talk!" Sorel ordered gruffly, his impatience growing.
"I'm here," she blurted out, "I'm okay."
"Alexis, are you telling me the truth? Has he hurt you?"
Sonny's soft, resonant voice washed over her like a blanket, and for reasons she didn't understand it brought all her terror to the surface. Oh God, she couldn't let herself go. Not now!
"N-no. I'm all right." She felt Sorel's eyes boring into her, as he shifted his weight. This might be her only chance to tell him what she wanted. She had to take it.
"Sonny please..." she shifted her gaze to Sorel, who had the look of a man about to get his way. She took a deep breath, and then:
"Don't do it. Don't give him Zander..."
Sorel ripped the phone away and grabbed Alexis by the throat. A small, strangled cry escaped from her throat as his fingers dug deep into her.
"That was NOT in your best interest," he growled.
Alexis could hear the distant, muffled sound of Sonny's voice hanging in the air as he fruitlessly called out to her. It seemed an eternity, as her empty lungs ached to be filled.
Finally, without a word, Sorel abruptly dropped his hand from her neck. She lurched forward against the steady force of Thomas, who jerked her back upright by the forceful grip he had on her arms. She gasped, fighting for air, fighting to keep from losing consciousness again. Sonny's voice grew more clear as Sorel stood, unspeaking, watching her as she struggled.
"Sorel, I swear on my mother's soul that if you hurt her..."
She wanted so much to call out to Sonny, to reassure him, but she couldn't draw breath. She was slipping...
"That's up to you Corinthos!" Sorel yelled into the phone. "Don't make me do something you'll regret! You've got a decision to make, and I suggest you make it soon!"
Eyes closed, Alexis could hear Sorel smack the phone shut and then release a sharp exhale. Suddenly, she fell to her knees as Thomas released his grip. Her arms were cold and tingling. They hung limply at her sides, unable to move. As air finally began easing into her lungs, she opened her eyes to see Sorel's feet as they walked toward the metal char. Then, the swishing noise of the overcoat being swept away. He turned toward her, as if daring her to defy him once again. But the visible trembling that had worked its way into Alexis's body spoke to him loud and clear. Yes, she could be broken.
Sorel smiled to himself, as he gazed down on her. "Well Miss Davis, there's good news, and there's bad news. The good news is, you're about to find out how relevant you really are. The bad news is...the same as the good."