I stood near the door into the bedroom, my eyes flicking around the room as I tried to figure out if I could make it out. I assumed the door the woman was standing in front of was the exit. The other door must lead to a bathroom. Maybe I could… overtake Doug? And the woman? She wanted me gone, so maybe she wouldn’t care.
“It seems, 4-13, that your little pet has escaped its cage,” she said as she spotted me.
Doug whirled around, looking angry. “Sebastian! Get back in the bedroom.”
I made a run for it. But I didn’t make anywhere near the door when Doug grabbed my arm, holding me tightly. “LET GO!” I yelled, trying to kick him.
“Shut up!” he hissed, nails piercing my skin. There was a sharp pain somewhere in the back of my head and I suddenly started feeling a bit calmer. I tried to tug my arm free, but for some reason… what was the point…? I slumped a bit against Doug, a stupid smile on my face. This got the woman’s attention.
“How did you do that?” she snapped.
“I told you, I’m connected to him,” Doug said, slipping an arm around my waist. My head lolled onto his shoulder. “That’s why I came back. I wanted to be able to do something like this… I love him, and he will be mine.”
“You’re incapable of love,” I murmured, my face in his shoulder.
The woman came over and pulled me away from him, looking into my face. I shuddered, not liking her touch anymore than Doug’s. She peered into my eyes first and then started to take my pulse. That’s when the calmness started slowly leaving me and I felt more awake. I have to get out of here!
I gave her a shove and went for the door, but Doug was able to grab my arm before I could reach for the knob. He yanked me back against me, putting an arm around my upper body. “Sebastian, stop it!” He grabbed my chin and turned my head so he could stare intensely into my eyes. The woman was on a phone, talking to someone, sounding urgent.
“Why am I here?” I demanded, trying to get free. “Why’ve you kidnapped me?! You don’t love me, you just… want to possess m–” I was cut off with a slap. I breathed in deeply through my nose, ignoring the pain which was creeping all over once more. “Did she say you were an experiment? You really are a monster.”
“Sticks and stones,” he said with a smirk. “So, Doctor, does that mean he can stay here? If not, then… well, I’m afraid we’ll have to go elsewhere.”
“No,” the woman said. “He can stay. I want to see what makes him so different. Why you are so connected. I’ll be taking him back to the lab with me, and see if the others are connected. If it is just you, or the other 4s have this connection, or if they all have this connection.”
Doug chuckled, shifting his weight a bit so he could put his other arm around me. “I don’t think so. He’s not going anywhere. He’s mine.”
“I–am–not–yours!” I began struggling again for a moment until I began to feel all calm and relaxed again. Mmm… What did she say? Was Doug doing this…? How can he make me feel so relaxed? It’s… what’s going on…?
“He will be staying here. With me.” With that, Doug scooped me up into his arms but I couldn’t fight him. I didn’t want to. I just felt so… nice… and comfortable… I knew I shouldn’t, I should be trying to get away from all this.
“He will be returning to the lab. With me.” The woman stepped closer. “I want to run tests on him, and see if the others connect to him. You will get him back eventually.”
“I’m… not an object…” I mumbled, blinking several times and coming out of a haze. Mostly. “Let go of me!” I elbowed him in the chest and he dropped me. I landed on the ground, the pain engulfing me. Not my brightest of plans but it worked. I rolled over and pushed myself to my feet. The woman was watching with…
Was that amusement? Whatever. Doug was rubbing his chest with one hand and reaching for me with his other hand. I stumbled back, shaking my head, trying to ignore the pain. His fingers were just about to grab my shirt when I managed to focus through the pain. I backed up some more then whirled around, diving for the door.
I felt something slam into me. Not physically, though. Mentally…? Emotionally? I felt overwhelmed with the need to stay. Nonononono! I yanked the door open and staggered outside, or I would have if someone wasn’t right there.
“Benjamin, would you grab him?” the woman sighed.
The man, who looked a lot like her (or was it my imagination?) obediently grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the house. “Wh-what’s going on? You s-s-said there w-was an emerg-gency. Wh… who is th-this?”
“A perfect specimen to expand our experiments,” the woman replied coolly. “4-13 found him. You should see how much control 4-13 has over him. Complete control.” She stepped forward, her eyes glittering. “We are taking him back to the lab to see if the other 4s can control him the same way, and whether the other experiments can also control him.”
“HE IS NOT YOUR SPECIMEN HE IS MY–” Doug stopped, looking bewildered for just a second. “–MY PROPERTY!”
“P-people aren’t pr-p-property,” the man holding me stammered.
“He is mine,” Doug snapped, stepping forward.
The woman held out her arm to stop him. “No, he is ours. Come on, Benjamin, we are going back to the laboratory right now.”
“J–” The man stopped, wincing a bit as the woman glowered so fiercely that even I felt terrified. “B-Beverly,” he started again, “I’d l-like to know wh-what’s g-going on.”
“I told you,” both the woman and Doug said at the same time and then they looked at each other, both looking angry. Honestly, I had no idea who was scarier. All that time of being hurt and abused by Doug… yet there was something about her that was just wrong.
The woman narrowed her eyes very slightly. “Benjamin, I think 4-13 should return to the laboratory with us. He seems to have forgotten his place.”
“Professor Rood,” Doug said, turning to the man. “That man right there is mine. We were together for a while then he was… stolen from me…”
“I was not stolen,” I snapped, trying to pull my arm free but the man still had a good grip. “I realized that you were just a crappy guy and I deserved better!”
Doug glared and lunged forward, but the woman held him back. Maybe she wasn’t so scary. “I finally get him back, and Doctor Rood is trying to take him from me!” Doug said, his eyes full of familiar rage. Despite having been gone for years, I flinched, expecting him to hit me.
The man’s arm tightened very slightly and he stepped back, pulling me with him. “I w-want to know wh-what’s going on,” he said simply.
“What is going on…?” The woman sounded incredulous and her face flashed with rage as well, though hers was different from Doug’s. Doug’s rage was hot, fiery, lava. Hers was cold, freezing, ice. “What is going on is 4-13 is going to be punished, and this–person–is going to be taken back with us so we can examine him, and test him with the other 4s.”
“B-Beverly, he’s not…” The man trailed off and sighed, shifting a bit and shifting me with him. “We d-don’t even know wh-who he is! J-judging from what was s-said… f-four-thirte…en just t-took him.” He turned me slightly so he could look at me. “You t-tell me wh-what is going on.”
“I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS!” The woman yelled.
“Sister,” the man replied rather calmly. “What if h-he is f-from an impor-portant family th-that send investigators?” The certainly quieted the woman and she just folded her arms, tapping her foot.
“He is not important, except to me,” Doug said, taking advantage of the woman folding her arms so he could come forward, reaching out to me. The woman grabbed the back of his shirt and yanked him back away from me to my relief.
“I am someone important!” I half-shouted and then was rather surprised at saying that. “I am important,” I repeated, a tingling sensation filling me. “I am important!”
“Yes, we heard you the first time,” the woman sighed.
I opened my mouth to speak then closed it again, frowning. I want to know what’s going on, I thought. “Before I say anything… I want to know what’s this business about a lab, and the ‘fours’. And what… connection Douglas has,” I said.
The woman rolled her eyes and Doug stomped his foot. But the man spoke up for me and as he spoke, I felt myself rather drawn to him. At least someone in this room was giving me a chance, and maybe I’d be able to escape. “C-considering everything, he m-might as w-well be told…”
“You always think people should be told things when they really should not,” the woman hissed out. “You are far too softhearted for your own good. You are too trusting.”
“Are we t-taking him back to the laboratory?” he asked and the woman shot him a look that said ‘of course we are’. “Th-then he has a r-right to know wh-what’s going on!” He sounded rather triumphant, and the woman sighed heavily.
“What do you know of the connection between you and 4-13?” she asked me.
“We have no connection,” I replied. “Not anymore. We used to be a couple–“
“We still are,” Doug cut me off but before I could argue, the woman began speaking.
“I do not mean anything like that,” she said, looking annoyed. “I meant with his abilities.”
“What abilities?” I asked, looking at Doug. “His ability to be a complete and total–“
“His ability with emotions!” The woman snapped. “Honestly, this is getting very boring. I am done with this. We are going back now.”
“You’re not taking him anywhere!” Doug growled out, looking ready to punch the woman. “He. Is. MINE!”
The woman’s hand was quicker than I expected, and she hit Doug somewhere on his upper chest or maybe it was his neck. Down he went, coughing rather violently. I raised my eyebrows high and my stomach twisted a bit. The image of my nightmares, taken down like that with what seemed like barely a touch. It was all so… wrong.
I just gulped and asked, my voice rather shaky, “What do you mean his ability with emotions?”
She turned to look at me and I was surprised at the change in her. Her annoyance was gone, her icy rage was gone. All that was left was boredom. It was like a mask had been removed. Or put on. “4-13 was created with the purpose of psychological advancements. The 4s were created with the focus of detecting emotional changes regardless of outward appearances and vocal fluctuation, and in hopes they would be able to utilize this ability and manipulate the emotional responses.”
I blinked, trying to sort out the words. Normally I was more than okay with words but right now everything seemed fuzzy. “What?” I finally asked.
“I hate stupid people,” she said, not even trying to hide the fact she said that. My eyes narrowed, but I said nothing. I’m not stupid. “How shall I put this so someone of your intelligence can understand…?” She tapped her chin and now she was just purposely aggravating me.
“The f-fours were m-made to be able to–to tell what a p-person is feeling,” the man holding me said gently. “Th-they’re supposed to b-be able to t-tell exactly wh-what a p-person is f-feeling and…” Now he stopped and his body stiffened. “And m-my sis–sister w-was hoping that they w-would be able to c-control how a p-person feels.”
I stared at Doug who had stood up again and was now looked rather smug. “You can tell what a person is feeling,” I said rather flatly.
“I must say, it certainly helped being able to switch on the sweetness whenever you were thinking about that fat moron,” Doug replied, not even batting an eyelash. “In the beginning, whenever you were annoyed with me, or thought about leaving me….” He spread his hands out, smirking. “I knew and was able to talk you back into loving me! When you were happy… or feeling all frisky… I could tell when you were lying, and when you felt insecure. And…” He smirked even more and I could say the words with him. “Take advantage of it.”
“And controlling me!!!”
Doug snorted at that. “Not really. None of the other Fours can do that… not truly. But with you, I was able to sort of push your feelings. Feelings you already had. You loved me, so I was able to push you deeper in love. But now…” He smiled even more and… and… “I can do so much more with you.”
Oh Watcher, I wanted to be with him again. And though my mind was screaming that he was just controlling me, the feeling would not go away.