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Scene 10
~Not to confuse anyone, this scene picks up EXACTLY where Scene 8 left off.~

In a seductive gesture, Sorel's fingertip lightly traced the line of her jaw...just below the place where his fist had made its mark.

"Don't make me do that again."

His words resonated in her head, words delivered in a warm whisper that was ripe with lascivious intent. It was purely perverse. She was afraid to open her eyes, to see the look on his face as he touched her. She just wanted it over with.

Without a word, his hand was gone. Alexis felt a slight release in the arms that locked her to Thomas's massive form. As Sorel began to walk away, Thomas shifted his weight. Instinctively, Alexis began to struggle. Thomas tightened his hold, almost pulling her feet from the ground as he dragged her toward the cot in the corner where Sorel stood, waiting. Against all reason, she turned and squirmed, summoning every ounce of her strength to break free.

"NO!!!!"

Thomas faltered, taken aback by her sudden outburst.

"Get her over here! NOW!"

Sorel's angry impatience kicked Thomas into gear. In one forceful motion, he spun Alexis around and, as if she were a rag doll, flung her toward Sorel. Her equilibrium thrown, she stumbled into the wall. The impact stunned her into silence. In a flash, Thomas was on her back. He grabbed her hands and yanked them up to either side of her face, holding her forearms flush against the concrete with his own. His knee pushed sharply into her legs. In seconds, she was pinned.

Sorel moved in beside her and leaned back against the wall. He folded his arms across his chest, sighing heavily, and turned his head toward her with an expression of pure boredom.

"Are you DONE?"

Alexis was mute. She was numb. She didn't even feel the harsh scrape that her forehead took when it slammed into the wall. She rolled her head toward him and gazed up slowly, eyes languid... staring. Then, she closed her eyes in simple surrender. Deja-vu all over again. Yes, she was done.

She was undone.

Sorel smiled. "Good." He turned his body toward her...silent, waiting. Deliberately trying to unnerve her to the full extent of his power. He was wasting his time. She was already dissociating.

"If you're going to do it," she said flatly, "Just do it."

Alexis cast her eyes to the cot in a blank stare. Sorel followed her gaze. He took several moments before turning back to her with feigned surprise.

"Miss Davis, I'm shocked! You didn't think that I was going to...that I wanted to...absolutely not!"

Her face was unmoving, her eyes disconnected.

Sorel shook his head sorrowfully. "I am DEEPLY hurt that you would think such a thing of me. I promise you that taking a woman like that, by force, is something I would never want...or NEED to do. It's so...unseemly. So unfitting a REAL man. Don't you think?"

A spark of confusion began to flicker across her face. Her sense of reality eluded her. His game was changing too fast for her to follow the rules. Sorel watched her intently, enjoying the fruits of his manipulation as this tough, sophisticated, wise-cracking woman unraveled at his hands.

But he wasn't finished...not by a long-shot.

Sorel reached into his pocket, withdrawing something small and white, bound with a rubber band...the thing that Thomas had handed to him earlier. He held it up in his hand, commanding Alexis's attention as he see-sawed it back and forth between his fingers, teasing her. She was unmoved. Sorel began to snap the rubber band...once, twice, three times.

Suddenly, Thomas was back in motion. Exhausted, her body acquiesced to him as he pulled her hand from the wall, and with a skillful twist, bent her arm back behind her at the elbow. He leaned his body against hers, holding it in place against the concrete while his palm pushed the back of her hand up against her ribcage. Alexis's mind was all over the map. She couldn't make sense of what was happening, couldn't think like Sorel.

"Do you remember what my favorite musical is, Miss Davis?"

"Y-yes."

"And what would that be?"

"Cabaret," she whispered roughly.

"Very good! And do you also remember what I said about there being all kinds of music out there to experience?"

Sorel suddenly moved behind her. A snapping sound brought the rubber band flying to the ground below.

She swallowed hard. "Yes."

As the white cloth followed the downward path of the rubber band, she felt the renewed pressure of Thomas's body against hers. She tried to turn her head, to see what was Sorel was doing. She couldn't move. There was a small popping noise...

"Well Miss Davis, I'm about to introduce you to a whole new kind of music."

She felt the warmth of his hand through the thin silk, as he pushed at her loosened sleeve. Once again, his fingers were on her bare skin. She opened her mouth to speak...a quick, sharp pinch halted her. She flinched, the pressure growing in intensity, starting to burn...

"W-what are you doing?"

No reply. Sorel suddenly appeared beside her, regarding her with intense curiosity...he was studying her. As a tingling heat began to creep through her body, she blinked her eyes against the light-headedness moving in. She tried to focus, looking for Sorel's face. Instead she saw his hand...holding a syringe in front of her face.

Oh God...he was killing her.

Fear snagged her breath in her throat as a hot, melting began to surge, pulling her under and rolling her over like a tidal wave. Her head was floating up, away from her body, as the weight in her arms and legs disappeared. She dropped. Thomas deftly caught her before she could hit the floor. She couldn't feel his arms beneath her as he swept her up and laid her on the cot. She couldn't distinguish where her body ended and everything else began.

Within minutes, the rolling wave subsided, leaving a heavy drowsiness in its wake. Her eyelids fluttered, her mouth was dry...her racing heart began to slow. She wanted to sleep.

Sorel kneeled down beside her. "I know a person's first time can be...disappointing."

He leaned in close, once again drawing his fingertips across her face as she stirred beneath his touch.

"I hope it was good for you."

He lingered a moment before rising. He turned, clamping a hand on Thomas's shoulder. "I have business to take care of. Stay with her. Make sure she doesn't go south." And he was gone.

Alexis turned her head to the side, a low moan escaping her lips. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was too dry.

"Do you need some water?" A strange voice echoed in her head. She struggled against the sleepiness to open her eyes.

"I'm going to help you sit up."

Suddenly, a strong arm slid down behind her back and eased her upright. Her head fell forward with heaviness, coming to rest against Thomas's shoulder. His arm stayed around her, steadying her. She lifted her head and looked at him. His blue eyes regarded her hesitantly, then shifted away as he reached for a cup on the table.

"Can you hold it by yourself?"

She closed her eyes, nodding. She felt his hand place the cup in hers, wrapping her fingers around it. She took a sip, then a little more. As she lowered the cup to her lap, a hand took it away. The heaviness overtook her, as she drifted down against Thomas's chest.

"Um...there's also some orange juice, so you won't get dehydrated, and saltines in case you feel sick."

Thomas leaned forward, cradling her as he lowered her back down. Her body was limp, her breathing slow and shallow. Normal. He knew that.

Alexis groaned. A strange fluttering in her stomach made her shudder.

"Are you queasy?"

She couldn't form the words, only mumbling an answer. A sudden chill through her face calmed the flutter down, as Thomas pressed a damp cloth to her bruised cheek, then moved it up to her forehead. He lingered there, where the rough concrete wall had left her skin raw.

"I didn't mean to do that," he mumbled.

Alexis squirmed, struggling to force her lids apart. She gazed up at him, at this dichotomy of a man. He looked away, contemplating the floor.

"Better?"

"Yes," she whispered. Then suddenly, she moaned and turned, her body shuddering again. She was going to be sick.

There was a faint rustling...then something pushing against her lips.

"Open your mouth. It'll help."

The smell of peppermint crept into her head. The smell of Christmas...of Ned...

"No..." her voice was ragged. She turned her head away from him.

He was insistent. "It's just a peppermint drop. I swear that's all it is. My grandmother used to give them to me when I was sick as a kid. It'll help."

His grandmother. She looked up at his blue eyes, and this time he didn't look away. As she closed her eyes, she allowed him to push the peppermint into her mouth. Thomas glanced back at the open door before leaning down closer to her, whispering.

"You'll be okay. The stuff was good quality. Just...just don't piss him off anymore, okay?"

His voice was imploring. Alexis moved her hand, searching for him, trying to make contact.

"Please...please help me."

Thomas stiffened and sat back upright, pulling away from her searching hand. His reply was succinct.

"I just did."