Zander drifted in and out of consciousness. There were times when he remembered, vividly, what had happened to him. Times when he tried to crawl out of bed only to find himself pinned down and a pinprick in his arm, sending him back into dark oblivion. He wished he could stay there. One time he came awake to hands caressing him, wet lips kissing him and Zander tried to lash out at the person. Then a familiar voice was there, whispering in his ear. Alcazar. Telling him that he was safe, that no one would hurt him again. Zander was desperate to believe him. When Alcazar kissed him, Zander kissed him back. And when he felt the pinprick in his arm, he welcomed the darkness.
* * * * *
Jason met Trent at the back entrance. Trent was the guy Elizabeth had hooked him up with. He was willing to help them get Zander out. For a fee. He disabled the security system long enough for Jason to get in. Trent had also set things up to be the guard watching Zander that night. So it was an easy in and should be an easy out.
"I have a van at the end of the west drive," Jason told him. "Can you take Zander to it?"
"No problem." Trent locked eyes with Jason. "Got my money?"
Jason held the man's gaze. "In the back of the van. Black duffle bag."
Trent grinned. "Nice doing business with you." He let himself into Zander's room, yanked back the covers and picked the kid up in his massive arms. He was heading back out when Jason stopped him.
"Where is Elizabeth?"
"Three doors down," Trent replied, then he headed off with his cargo.
Jason half ran down the hallway. He found the door locked but he kicked it open. "Elizabeth!"
She was sitting at the window. "Jason!" She ran into his arms. "You have to get Zander out of here."
"He's already on his way out. Now we have to go." Jason started pulling her towards the door. Then he heard it, a commotion. "We're out of time."
"Yeah...we are." Elizabeth blinked back tears. "This way." She grabbed his hand and led Jason out of her room and down to the end of the hallway. She had talked to Trent and Elizabeth knew that master suite would offer his only chance of escape. It had a balcony that led down to the gardens. He could make a run for it from there. So Elizabeth led them into Alcazar's room, only to spin around and head back out. She closed the door and locked it with the key Trent had given her. She heard Jason pounding on the door and swallowed a sob as she ran down the hallway, screaming at the top of her lungs. She would create a diversion for Jason, and pray.
* * * * *
Trent got Zander to the van and laid him down in the back. There was a blanket folded up and he used it to cover the kid. Then he grabbed the black duffle bag and was ready to leave when he heard a shout. Trent pulled his gun and didn't hesitate, he fired a round of shots.
Jason showed up in time to see Trent take a hit and keep on shooting. He fired his own gun even as he dove behind the wheel of the van. He had left it running. Jason put it in gear, stamped on the accelerator and took off. He didn't slow down until they reached the outskirts of the city. And even then he pushed the speed limit. Two hours later they arrived at a private airstrip. Jason carried Zander onto a waiting plane and settled him into a seat. Zander never stirred and seeing the needle marks in his arms, Jason could understand why. "Take off," Jason told the pilot.
"I thought there was to be three of you, sir," The pilot countered.
"You thought wrong." Jason's voice was clipped. He hated having to leave Elizabeth behind, but he would make damn sure her sacrifice was not in vain. She had risked everything for Zander. To save him. So Jason would do just that. He would save Zander. For Elizabeth.
* * * * *
Luis was furious. He trashed his office then he had Elizabeth brought to him. He slapped her and she glared at him, defiantly, as she pressed a hand to her reddened cheek. "You will be punished!" Luis promised her.
Elizabeth smiled. "I don't care. You can't hurt Zander anymore. So do your worst."
"I intend to," Luis purred, and he was pleased when Elizabeth shivered in reaction. Then he stalked over to the open door and bellowed, "Fire up my plane. We leave in one hour." Luis knew that Jason Morgan would try to get Elizabeth back. But he would have to find her first. And when the time came, Luis was certain that Morgan would be willing to make a trade. Zander...for Elizabeth. He would just have to bide his time. And Luis could be patient, if it meant getting what he wanted. And he wanted Zander back.
* * * * *
Jason rubbed a hand over his face then dropped into a nearby chair. Three days had passed since he had gotten Zander away from Alcazar. Three days and nights of hell. And it wasn't going to be over anytime soon.
Upon arriving at their location, a private island, Jason had contacted a doctor to examine Zander. He had been horrified by what he had learned. If repeated rapes weren't enough for Zander to deal with, the drugs Alcazar had pumped into him had left his system dependent. The withdrawals he had suffered for the past two days were just about killing Zander. Jason had hired two nurses to help him take care of Zander and the doctor was on call at all times. But just watching Zander puke his guts up, then twist around in agony was wearing Jason out.
The good news was that the doctor had just examined Zander again after they had cleaned him up, again, in the shower. The low-grade fever he had developed was gone. The withdrawal symptoms, the pain and puking had eased up. Zander was still in loose restraints, and the doctor had put in an IV, but he was sleeping somewhat peacefully at the moment. Dr. Sorato had told Jason that the longer Zander slept, the better. That it would now be a healing sleep.
But there was bad news as well. The physical aspects of the rapes and drugs were easing, but now Zander would have to deal with the emotional and psychological aspects of it. Dr. Sorato believed that Zander would crave more drugs when he woke up and Jason would have to deal with that. As for the rapes, that was going to be an issue in itself. One that would have to be dealt with at the time, since Dr. Sorato couldn't even begin to guess at what Zander's psychological state would be.
Jason didn't want to think about that now. He was tired. He closed his eyes and drifted off. But he came awake with a start, a few hours later, when he heard Zander crying out. Jason moved to the bed and watched as Zander thrashed about a bit. He was tugging on the restraints and mumbling something. Jason leaned in and heard the name *Peter*. He had no idea who Peter was. "Zander?" Jason thought it would be best to wake him from whatever nightmare plagued him. "Zander...wake up." Jason reached out and touched his shoulder, pulling back when Zander's eyes flew open. "It's okay. You’re safe now."
"Who are you? Did Sorel send you? Where am I?" Zander tugged at the restraints, his eyes wild with fear.
"Zander...you know me. I'm Jason."
Zander shook his head, still tugging at the restraints. "I don't know you. Where the hell am I? What do you want with me?"
Jason looked into Zander's eyes and saw genuine confusion and fear. He wasn't sure how to respond. "Look...I'm a friend, okay? I'm trying to help you."
"You don't work for Sorel?"
"Sorel is dead."
Zander was stunned. "Dead? Are you sure?"
Jason nodded. "Yeah...I'm sure." But he wasn't sure about anything. "Look...just relax for a bit, okay? I have to make a phone call."
"Where am I? And why am I in restraints?" Zander couldn't keep the fear out of his voice.
"You were hurt...someone hurt you and it's a long story." Jason ran a hand over his head. "I need to call someone, then I'll try and answer your questions." He walked out of the room, grabbing his cell phone off his belt. He punched in Dr. Sorato's number and hissed, "Get your ass over here now. Zander is awake."
© Shelly 2004